Amelia Earhart was born July 24, 1897 and disappeared on July 2, 1937. Legend and mystery surrounds the final flight and disappearance of Amelia Earhart and her navigator, Fred Noonan. They were on a record setting attempt to fly around the world, when they became lost in the Pacific Ocean.
On July 2, 1937, they headed on a difficult leg of the journey towards Howell Island in the Pacific. Weather conditions were less than ideal. While still in radio communication, ships on the ground confirmed that Earhart was having difficulty finding the island. Ultimately, radio communications faded and died. The plane was never heard from again.
The disappearance of Earhart’s plane resulted in the largest search and rescue operation to date. It also sparked rumors as to what caused the disappearance. To this day, theories and speculation still exists about the cause of the disappearance. Some theories involve conspiracies, and even alien abductions.
This image is of Amelia Earhart standing under the nose of her Lockheed Model 10-E Electra. It is a gelatin silver print taken in 1937 and is housed in the National Portrait Gallery of the Smithsonian Institution. It was a gift from George R. Rinhart, in memory of Joan Rinhart. It is in the public domain in the United States because it was published betwwen 1923 and 1977 without a copyright notice.