July 2, 1937: Amelia Earhart, the first female pilot to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean, disappears with her navigator Fred Noonan whilst attempting the first equatorial round-the-world flight. Earhart, who grew up in Kansas, first realised she wanted a career in aviation after a 10-minute flight with air racer Frank Hawks. She began working several jobs to pay for flying lessons and purchased a bright yellow biplane which she nicknamed ‘The Canary’. In 1922, she set a world record for female pilots by reaching an altitude of 14,000 feet and in 1923 she was issued with her pilot’s license.
The press dubbed her the ‘Queen of the Air’ and she published books, gave lectures promoting aviation, and helped design a line of women’s clothing. Her new celebrity status helped finance her flying and in 1928 she flew solo across the North American continent. In 1932, she completed her celebrated 14 hour solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean in 14 hours and 56 minutes.