The real reason Amelia Earhart is so famous

A carefully executed publicity campaign turned a pretty average pilot into an aviation legend.
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Amelia Earhart is often thought of as the first or greatest female pilot of her time. But the real reason she is seen as an aviation legend comes from a carefully executed publicity campaign starting with her transatlantic passenger flight in 1928, which launched her out of obscurity and into celebrity status. From there, she pursued an ambitious career of record-breaking and stunts in order to stay in the headlines and fund her aviation career. is a news website that helps you cut through the noise and understand what's really driving the events in the headlines. Check out to get up to speed on everything from Kurdistan to the Kim Kardashian app.
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Do you recognize this record-breaking . pioneer of aviation how about this one . still no okay okay how about now . yep that's amelia earhart enjoying a . ticker-tape parade in her honor she's . often thought of as the first or the . greatest female pilot of her time her . accomplishments are widely known among . them being the first woman and second . person ever to solo non-stop across the . atlantic ocean she was a daring and . ambitious pilot but so were her peers. like louise thaden still the only pilot . ever to hold the woman's speed altitude . and solo endurance records . simultaneously in 1929 she won the . women's air derby the first women's . transcontinental eretz her friend and . rival amelia earhart placed third after . wrecking early on in the race or . consider ruth nichols who held three. simultaneous flying records in . that year she flew higher faster and . farther than any woman in the world . amelia's contemporaries were some of the. best pilots at the time but they faded . into obscurity while amelia a pretty . average pilot in comparison became a . legend in her lifetime so what set her . apart from the other record-setting . female pilots some of whom were . measurably better at flying it was all . planned that way . the year was 1927 american aviator . charles lindbergh became the first . person to fly solo non-stop across the . atlantic ocean and people went wild . aviation was becoming an american . obsession and lindbergh was an instant . hero he was even time magazine's first . ever man of the year and that was an . opportunity for george palmer putnam an . influential american publisher to cash . in on the aviation craze he persuaded . lindbergh to write a book about his . historic flight we was a massive success . and lindbergh three-month promotional . tour made him one of the most . recognizable celebrities in the world . soon after wealthy socialite amy phipps . guest acquired a powerful tri-motor . airplane so she could become the first . woman flown over the atlantic ocean but . her family refused to allow something so . dangerous so she decided to spawn . our young aviatrix to go instead she . asked gp putnam to find her the right . sort of girl to make the historic flight . putnam settled on a 30 year old social . worker and enthusiastic amateur pilot. named you guessed it amelia earhart with . her short hair and boyish good looks she . struck a strong resemblance to american . icon charles lindbergh putnam saw an . opportunity for another best seller for . amelia it was an opportunity to realize . her dream a career in aviation she . didn't actually touch any of the. controls during the flight she wrote as . a passenger and became the first woman . across the atlantic by air in 1928 pilot . is none other than america's miss amelia . earhart world leading lady flier it . catapulted her from relative obscurity . into international headlines and that . was all orchestrated by george putnam. who was already working with a lot of . male aviators on record-setting flights . and publicity so he was a master of that . putnam soon had amelia working on a book . about her flight he organized a . publicity tour and fed her new nickname . to the press lady lindy she flew she . lectured and also wrote an aviation . column in cosmopolitan magazine which . she used as a platform to promote . aviation and to encourage other women to . enter the field. she even endorsed products like lucky . strike cigarettes and a line of designer . luggage to finance her flying career in . amelia reluctantly married george putnam . and together they worked to further her . career through publicized . record-breaking record-setting making . headlines was the way people were making . a living in aviation and that's what . amelia did she often said i set a record . and then i lecture on it she wanted to . fly and she did what she needed to do to . make it happen see at the time there was . no such thing as commercial aviation or . professional flying after war one . surplus planes could be bought cheap and . they were mostly used for mail carrying . smuggling and something called. barnstorming a shockingly reckless . practice of public air stunts. barnstormers traveled from town to town . taking people up for rides and pulling . off maneuvers that terrified and. delighted crowds and newspapers it was a. dangerous practice but it was the only . way to make money as a pilot and . flying experience in the early 20s and . it actually helped launch the careers of . some of america's greatest aviators . including bessie coleman and charles . lindbergh as barnstorming eventually . fell by the wayside record-setting and . exploration became the media's fixation. fly and that's exactly what amelia and . her contemporaries set out to do in . order to support their careers that . arizona is the golden age of flight . so all this record-setting was exciting . everyone and getting people to be . familiar with aviation considered as a . form of transportation and invest in it . so these early pilots served a purpose . to make it familiar and get people . excited about it this record and setting . a new time mark for women it took me . about 19 hours and . few minutes to make the trip i wish i . could have done it faster emilia was . very comfortable with the press she . learned very early how to talk to them . you know when she was flying she looked . very much like a man but when she was on . camera she came across as much more . soft-spoken so in that way she didn't . threaten her audiences even though she . was doing this extraordinary thing . making a career in aviation but emilia . wasn't satisfied with being a passenger . in the historic flight that made her. famous she referred to her role in it as . a sack of potatoes and wanted to change . that so she decided to become the second . person ever to solo the atlantic ocean . putnam again making the arrangements and . on the fifth anniversary of lindbergh . daring flight amelia took off in her red . lockheed vega eventually touching down . in northern ireland yeah you see lady . lindy fellow flight across the atlantic . the admiration of the whole world what a . wonderful woman she liked linda she had . made this really you know courageous . flight people were still routinely . getting killed flying across the . atlantic ocean so the fact that she did . that on her own really gave her . credibility the reaction was crazy but . it had been crazy for charles lindbergh . two million went from amateur pilot to . national treasure in just four years . her publicity campaigns not only crafted . her image as the premier female pilot . they also allowed her to keep fly and . while she might not be the most skilled . pilot of her time 80 years since her . disappearance she's still the most . enduring but also admired for her grace . and charm . she was the hold of headlines for almost . 10 years here at the height of her fame . she arrives in new york city hall . america's top woman pilot a woman who . asked no quarter in competing in the . world of men in 19 . [music]. .
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