Flying With America's Most Famous Female Aviators
Dozens of talented women preceded Amelia Earhart, and thousands have followed, and each has her own groundbreaking story to tell
- By Patricia Trenner
- Smithsonian.com, October 22, 2009
Earhart catapulted into the limelight in June 1928 as the first female passenger to fly across the Atlantic. “I was just baggage, like a sack of potatoes,” she candidly admitted. One of the first women to earn a pilot’s license, she had dallied in aviation in years prior, and after her passenger flight, publisher-promoter George Palmer Putnam viewed Earhart as his aeronautical Pygmalion. The duo, who later married, gave speaking tours, published books, and established aviation records, including becoming the first woman to fly transatlantic solo in 1932. Earhart disappeared over the Pacific during her attempt to fly around the world in July 1937.