DC at Night

DC at Night

Monday, July 30, 2012

Amelia Earhart

Amelia Earhart
The death last week of Sally Ride, America's 1st female astronaut, saddened flight enthusiasts everywhere. But before there was Ms. Ride, there was Amelia Earhart, arguably the most famous female flyer of all time.

The life of Earhart, who although her body has never been recovered was legally ruled to have died in a 1937 flight over the Pacific, is the subject of a new exhibit One Life: Amelia Earhart at the National Portrait Gallery.

She was not the 1st woman to fly, but Earhart's well-publicized exploits during the age of The Great Depression made her one of the most popular figures of her day and continue to keep her firmly established as a role model for women today.

"I choose to fly the Atlantic because I wanted to," Earhart wrote in one of the 2 books she published in her lifetime. ""It was, in a measure, a self-justification, a proving to me and anyone else interested, that a woman with adequate experience could do it."

In addition to photos of Earhart at every stage of her short, but illustrious life and career, the exhibit includes artifacts such as a leather flyer helmet she wore and a copy of her pilot's license.

Assistant Curator Frank Goodyear says that Earhart is worthy of the special exhibit, especially timed for the 75th anniversary of her death. "She made evident to the larger world that women - when presented with the opportunity could accomplish feats not previously imaginable, " Goodyear says "She confronted numerous challenges as a woman and as a pilot, but she found ways to surmount them without compromise."

"To me," he added. "She represents the unlimited possibility of human achievement. Her desire to lead made her the face of the age."

Tales, Tidbits, and Tips
You have plenty of time to make it the Portrait Gallery to take in the Earhart exhibit. It will not be closing until May 27 of next year.

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