Incredible Facts About The Daring Life Of Amelia Earhart

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. 

  • She Literally Rode Sleds Off Of A Roof As A Little Girl

    She Literally Rode Sleds Off Of A Roof As A Little Girl
    Photo: Saladdays / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

    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." 

  • She Went Hard For Women's Rights

    She Went Hard For Women's Rights
    Photo: Harris & Ewing / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

    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. 

  • She Somehow Survived The Unsurvivable

    She Somehow Survived The Unsurvivable
    Photo: Harris & Ewing / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

    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. 

  • She Paid For Her Own D*mn Self By Being A Truck Driver

    She Paid For Her Own D*mn Self By Being A Truck Driver
    Photo: National Library of Ireland on The Commons / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

    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

  • She Flew Across Entire Oceans Totally Alone

    She Flew Across Entire Oceans Totally Alone
    Photo: Harris & Ewing / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

    On May 20, 1932, Earhart became the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. She flew 14 hours straight from Newfoundland to Ireland while accomplishing this feat. Her intended destination, which was actually Paris, France, was changed to something closer due to icy weather. 

    But history-making badasses like Earhart are never satisfied with single feats of prowess. So, one-upping herself, she later became the first person to fly across both the Atlantic and Pacific.

  • She Was A Record-Setting Machine

    Amelia Earhart was not afraid to set an aeronautical record, and she didn't just go for the ones set by other women either. On top of her many ridiculous accomplishments - such as flying solo across the Atlantic Ocean - Earhart set the women's autogiro altitude record, was the first person (not just the first woman) to fly solo from Honolulu, Hawaii to Oakland, California, was the person to fly solo from Los Angeles to Mexico City, and set seven women's speed and distance aviation records. It's no wonder she attempted to circle the globe as her final feat of daring; she was damn good at what she did.