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What happened to Amelia Earhart? On the morning of July 2, 1937, Earhart and her navigator, Fred Noonan, left the island of Lae, New Guinea, for the longest leg of their record-breaking flight around the world. Those who watched the wobbly departure of her Lockheed Electra were the last ever to see Earhart and Noonan alive. There was an intensive search by sea and air, but no proven trace of them was ever found. Over the decades many theories have been developed to explain the disappearance of the duo. Some of the stories we’ve heard have been extravagant; others seem more realistic. Was Earhart on a spying mission for the government? Was she captured by the Japanese and made to be the mistress of Emperor Hirohito? Or did she simply get lost and run out of gas? Doris L. Rich’s essay “What Happened to Amelia Earhart?” summarizes her ideas after six years of research. Read the essay and offer your own reflections.

Sky Pioneer: A Photobiography of Amelia Earhart by Corinne Szabo documents Amelia Earhart’s career of “firsts”—her records in speed, altitude, distance, and finally her attempt to fly around the world. This children’s book is an informative publication by the National Geographic Society that includes easy-to-read maps that show her final journey with photos and commentary that she sent back home at each stop. To order call 800 437 5521.

 

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