August 24, 1932. American pilot Amelia Earhart becomes the first woman to fly non-stop across the Atlantic. Earheart was born on July 24, 1897 in Kansas. A tomboy in her childhood, Amelia enjoyed horseback riding, climbing trees, sledding, and hunting. In 1920, she flew with barnstormer Frank Hawks, sparking her passion for flying. 6 months after her first flying lesson, she bought her own plane, “The Canary”. Although she was not a naturally talented aviator, she was certainly a capable flyer. In 1922, she broke the women’s altitude record. Her first transatlantic flight as a passenger was in 1928, a voyage which took 20 hours and 40 minutes. She then set out to be the first woman and second person to ever fly across the Atlantic Ocean. Starting from Newfoundland and landing in Londonderry, Northern Ireland, her flight lasted 14 hours and 56 minutes, considerably faster than Charles Lindbergh’s flight in 1927. She disappeared in 1937 with her navigator as they attempted the first circumnavigated flight across the globe.
Also on August 24: Western Roman Empire collapses following the sack of Rome by the Visigoths (410); The North Atlantic Treaty goes into effect, and NATO is formed (1949); Ukraine declares its independence from the Soviet Union (1991).
Born on August 24: Jorge Luis Borges (1899), Yasser Arafat (1929), Paulo Coelho (1947), Dave Chappelle (1973).