|THEN : Amelia and her Lockheed Electra 10E NR16020, circa 1937.|
Even before her disappearance, Earhart had become an iconic cultural figure in America and across the globe. Her contributions both to aviation and to the role of women are undeniable. She is often cited as the first female pilot to fly solo across the Atlantic, but this was just one of the many aviation records that she set. She became involved in the womens liberation movement, joining the National Woman's Party and supporting the American Equal Rights Amendment. In 1935, just a few short years before she died, she became a faculty member at Purdue University, and often counselled other women, advising them as to their career choices. She helped set up an organiztion for female pilots, and was the first woman to ever receive America's Distinguished Flying Cross.
|THEN : Frank Hawks as mentioned in the "Hall of Fame of the Air".|
|THEN : Earhart greats the Mayor of Southampton, Mrs. Foster Welch, on June 20th, 1928, after having become the first woman to be flown across the Atlantic.|
|THEN : Earhart poses in front of an autogyro in Rock Springs in 1931.|
|THEN : Earhart gave her name to "Modernaire Earhart Luggage" in one of many product lines, all of which brought in financial sponsorship.|
|THEN : Earhart's advertisement for Lucky Strike cigarettes, which apparently calm your nerves on long flights but don't bug your throat.|
|THEN : The proposed route for Earhart's flight across the globe, which more or less followed the equator.|
|THEN : Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan in May of 1937, less than two months before they flew into thin air.|
Other claims that Earhart was captured and forced to make anti-American propaganda broadcasts have also been discredited. Just like her physical appearance, Earhart's voice was well known to many, and the supposed propaganda broadcasts, Earhart's voice was never identified.
|NOW : 1 Spadina Circle, where Amelia Earhart worked as a nurse at the end of the First World War, is pictured in this contemporary and (appropriately) aerial photograph.|
With the outbreak of the Spanish Flu, and a world wide pandemic, Earhart soon became a patient. She developed pneumonia, and had a slow recovery, spending months convalescing. Her sinuses became infected, too, and although she received a small operation, she would experience related problems all of her life, which sometimes impacted her career as a pilot. But it was in Toronto tha she developed her love of flying. She began attending air shows put on by the pilots of the Royal Flying Corps, at the Armour Heights air field, located near today's Avenue Road and Wilson Avenue. Then, in 1919, she joined a friend in a visit to the Canadian National Exposition, where together they watched an airshow performed by a First World War flying ace. According to the stuff of legend, Earhart and her friend had a good vantage point, in a clearing away from the crowds. The pilot saw them, and dove down to “buzz” the pair. Earhart would later say, “I am sure he said to himself, 'Watch me make them scamper,'. I did not understand it at the time,but I believe that little red airplane said something to me as it swished by.” Earhart stood her ground in the face of the daredevil pilot.
|THEN : An air show at the Canadian National Exposition, circa 1907. A dozen years later, Earhart would attend a similar air show, and would soon be thrilled by the possibilities of flight.|
|THEN : Richard Gere and Hilary Swank filming the 2009 biopic "Amelia" outside Toronto's Royal York Hotel.|
|THEN : Richard Gere and Hilary Swank filming the 2009 biopic "Amelia" outside Toronto's Union Station.|
|THEN : Front Street, between Union Station and the Royal York Hotel, gets a makeover for the 2009 film "Amelia". It's terribly appropriate that the film was made her, given Earhart's early connections with Toronto.|
|THEN : Amelia Earhart in the cockpit of her Electra in 1936. Whatever became of you, Amelia, you have left us with one of the twentieth century's most enduring mysteries!|