"Women must try to do things as men have tried. When they fail, their failure must be but a challenge to others." (Amelia Earhart)

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Amelia Earhart

by Linda Baxter

Amelia Earhart was born in 1897, in Kansas, USA. Even as a child she didn't behave in a conventionally 'feminine' way. She climbed trees and hunted rats with her rifle - but she wasn't particularly interested in flying. She saw her first plane when she was 10, and wasn't impressed at all. But she was very interested in newspaper reports about women who were successful in male-dominated professions, such as engineering, law and management. She cut them out and kept them.

During the First World War she worked as a nursing assistant in a military hospital, and later started to study medicine at university. Then, in 1920, Amelia's life changed. She went to an aviation fair with her father and had a 10-minute flight in a plane. That was it. As soon as the plane left the ground, Amelia knew that she had to fly.

So Amelia found herself a female flying teacher and started to learn to fly. She took all sorts of odd jobs to pay for the lessons, and also saved and borrowed enough money to buy a second-hand plane. It was bright yellow and she called it 'Canary'. In 1922 she took 'Canary' up to a height of 14,000 feet, breaking the women's altitude record.

In 1928, Amelia was working as a social worker in Boston when she received an amazing phone call inviting her to join pilot Wilmer Stultz on a flight across the Atlantic. The man who organised the flight was the American publisher, George Putnam. Amelia's official title was 'commander' but she herself said that she was just a passenger. But she was still the first woman passenger to fly across the Atlantic. She became famous, wrote a book about the crossing (called '20 Hours, 40 minutes') and travelled around the country giving lectures. George Putnam was like a manager to her, and she eventually married him in 1931.

Then, in 1932, Amelia flew solo across the Atlantic, something that only one person, Lindbergh, had ever done before. Because of bad weather, she was forced to land in the middle of a field in Ireland, frightening the cows. She broke several records with this flight: the first woman to make the solo crossing, the only person to make the crossing twice, the longest non-stop distance for a woman and the shortest time for the flight.

Now she was really famous. She was given the Distinguished Flying Cross (another first for a woman), wrote another book, and continued to lecture. She also designed a flying suit for women, and went on to design other clothes for women who led active lives.

Amelia continued to break all sorts of aviation records over the next few years. But not everyone was comfortable with the idea of a woman living the kind of life that Amelia led. One newspaper article about her finished with the question "But can she bake a cake?"

When she was nearly 40, Amelia decided that she was ready for a final challenge - to be the first woman to fly around the world. Her first attempt was unsuccessful (the plane was damaged) but she tried again in June 1937, with her navigator, Fred Noonan. She had decided that this was going to be her last long-distance 'record breaking' flight.

Everything went smoothly and they landed in New Guinea in July. The next stage was from New Guinea to Howland Island, a tiny spot of land in the Pacific Ocean. But in mid flight the plane, navigator and pilot simply disappeared in the bad weather.

A rescue search was started immediately but nothing was found. The United States government spent $4 million looking for Amelia, which makes it the most expensive air and sea search in history. A lighthouse was built on Howland Island in her memory.

Amelia always knew that what she did was dangerous and that every flight could be her last. She left a letter for her husband saying that she knew the dangers, but she wanted to do what she did. People today are still speculating about what might have happened to Amelia and Fred Noonan. There are even theories that they might have landed on an unknown island and lived for many more years. Whatever happened, Amelia Earhart is remembered as a brave pioneer for both aviation and for women.





Very informative and well doc umented. Thanks British Council.

Amelia Earhart  really great she is remembered as a brave pioneer for both aviation and for women.
Very good article !!

Interesting!   Looking forward for more articles on aviation.

I have to write about mather teresa from macedonia
she vas born in skopje and all life she helps in pore countries 
most of hers life she spend in india where she vas dedicated on people who has nothing to eat or clothes to wore
today mother teresa is sinonim of kidness cherity and goodnes in my country

There are several well-know females in our country. Most famous of which is Corazon Aquino. She was the first female president of our country. A simple and quiet woman, she rose to power during the people power revolution.
Her husband was Benigno Aquino, Sr., an opposition senator during the Marcos regime. She was a housewife who dutyfully looked after her family while her husband fought the government in the political arena for freedom and justice. Martial law was in effect at that time. Because of his vigorous campaign against the government, her husband was jailed and exiled. When her family returned, her husband was assassinated. This ignited the people power revolution which catapulted her to the presidency.
She instituted several reforms such as land reform, human rights freedom and fighting corruption. Moreover, she survived not just one but nine coup de tats during her term. Amazing for a first woman president with no political background! A commission was created during her term to reclaim ill-gotten wealth from the previous administration as well as to provide compensation to victims of the atrocious martial law.
Even when she left the presidency, she continued to advocate for peaceful solutions to violence and insurgency. A firm believer in good government, she participated in nonviolent rallies to oppose corruption.  Millions admire her courage and resiliency when she faced the numerous difficulties in her life. Until her death, she continued to protect the freedom now enjoyed by her countrymen. She is seen as the icon of democracy.  Many more regard her as a hero and a well-loved president.


Your texts

Francesco Martorana writes: “In the History of humankind we find a lot of interesting women. They were in different fields, such as science, politics, literature, and so on.

I think that one of the most fascinating personalities was Margaret Thatcher, the so-called “Iron Lady”.  She was daughter of a grocer but she managed to become Prime Minister, even though her family was neither wealthy nor noble.

She had her degree in chemistry and then she got a job as an ice cream tester, but she wasn’t very fond of that activity. A strong will allowed her to have a rapid career in the Conservative Party and, finally, in 1979 she was elected Prime Minister, the first woman in UK history.

Her economic policy was strong. She planned the privatisation of many state companies, and her relationship with the trade unions wasn’t too friendly. That is why she became less popular but in 1982, imposing Great Britain’s military supremacy on the Falklands islands, she showed to the world the power of her personality.  

She faced the problems of delinquency and terrorism, and she is famous for her coolness under an IRA attack in 1984. “Thatcherism” was appreciated all around the world, and it inspired many governments in different countries.

In 1994 she was made a baroness.”

Recepcionsirenis writes: “This text really surprised me in the sense that I knew that there have been women doing these things, but I haven't read anything like that. The text explains a real situation, it talks about the life of a woman who died trying to do something spectacular, and even though she could not achieve it, she became famous for that, and she still is. Nowadays there are a lot of famous women that are remembered for having fought against thoughts and actions that they considered not fair for women. This personal fight has led to a better consideration of women’s rights in the actual world, so that women have improved their situation a lot if we compare it with their situation a few years ago. In my opinion, the whole world of women should be absolutely grateful to these women, in the sense that today our life has improved compared to a woman’s life in the past.”