Amelia Earhart was not the type to be daunted by the lack of opportunities for women. A year after the first solo flight recorded by Charles Lindbergh, she became the first woman to fly across the Atlantic ocean – though as a passenger. This was just a warm-up to her record-breaking solo flight career.
On this day, January 11th, 1935 Earhart completed a 2,400-mile trip from Wheeler Field in Hawaii to Oakland Airport in California. At a cruising speed of 140 to 160 mile per hour, her journey took 19 straight hours. Despite the long wait times, she was met by a crowd of fans and well-wishers coming out to see first person ever to fly more than 2,000 miles over the ocean.
Earhart’s ambitions grew commensurate with her accomplishments, and two years following her famous Hawaii flight, she took off on the first ever trip around the world. Aided by an on-board navigator, she would hop country to country around the equator. She got as far as New Guinea, in the South Pacific. Somewhere in the 2,500 mile stretch of ocean between Lae, New Guinea and Howland Island she radioed Howland she was running out of fuel. An intensive search launched by three countries turned up no sign of her plane, and Amelia Earhart became lost to history.