Who was Amelia Earhart? She was a pioneer in flight, an author, a fashion designer, and so much more. Earhart was born in Kansas in 1897. She was the oldest of two daughters, and her mother didn't believe in raising her children to be proper and dainty little girls. Instead, they wore bloomers (pants) and had plenty of freedom to explore and do what they wanted. From the beginning, Earhart was a tomboy; she spent her free time climbing trees and sledding down hills. All of this set the scene for what came later, when she broke through the traditional wall of male-dominated aviation.
Like other badass women who make history, the life of Amelia Earhart was all about breaking the rules and setting her own records. By pursuing her dreams she made history.
On a trip to St. Louis as a child, Earhart saw her first rollercoaster, and she was immediately intrigued. To satisfy her craving for the height and speed of the wooden contraption, in 1904, she and her uncle built a rollercoaster-like ramp and attached it to the roof of her family's shed. Earhart fearlessly went on her ramp's maiden voyage in a wooden box. She wound up with a torn dress and a bruised lip, but declared the experience to be "just like flying."
The Equal Rights Amendment - the proposed amendment to the Constitution that would guarantee women equal rights that never actually got passed - first started getting kicked around in the early 1920s, and was officially presented to Congress in 1923. Amelia Earhart - bloomer-wearin' badass - was one of its first and most ardent supporters. Earhart was also a vocal member of the National Women's Party, which was created to get women the right to vote.
The Spanish flu ravaged the United States in 1918. In fact, it's considered one of the deadliest natural disasters of all time. Over 500 million people were infected worldwide, and an estimated 100 million of them were killed - most of them healthy adults without any previous medical problems. Some who survived were plagued by sinus problems, which is true of Earhart. However, she didn't let that stop her, and she wasn't felled by the flu either. Although it did take her a year to recuperate, your girl came out on top.
In 1920, Earhart and her father visited an airfield in Long Beach, California. There, she experienced something that would change her life: a flight with a pilot named Frank Hawks. Earhart reflected on her first foray away from earth, claiming: "By the time I had got two or three hundred feet off the ground, I knew I had to fly."
She was determined to learn how to fly an airplane on her own, come hell or high water. So, in order to afford the lessons, Earhart worked as a truck driver, a stenographer, and a photographer.