From "cargo piece" to real protagonist
This month marked the 90th anniversary of Amelia Earhart's (1897-1937?) solo flight across the Atlantic. On 20 May 1932, the 34-year-old US-American had set off from Harbour Grace, Newfoundland, in her red Lockheed Vega 5B and landed 14 hours and 56 minutes later near Derry in Northern Ireland, making her the first person to fly across the ocean twice.
However, when she became the first woman to cross the Atlantic in a non-stop flight on 17-18 June 1928, she was merely a passenger of pilot Wilmer Lower Stultz (1900-1929). When she was interviewed after landing, she said: "Stultz did all the flying - had to. I was just baggage, like a sack of potatoes."
Nevertheless, she was celebrated as a heroine at the time. And that fame reverberates today: The leather cap she wore back then was auctioned off for USD 825,000 at the end of February this year. (ah)