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Amelia Earhart

Underwood & Underwood1932

Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery

Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery

On May 21, 1932—exactly five years to the day after Charles Lindbergh’s historic transatlantic flight—Earhart became the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic. This photograph shows her shaking hands with Dan McCallon, the Irish farmer who was the only eyewitness to her landing. Throughout her flying career, Earhart demonstrated an interest in breaking aviation records. She had long felt that the publicity she received after the 1928 flight outweighed her actual achievement, and she saw this solo flight as the opportunity to prove her flying ability and her mettle. Setting out from Newfoundland in a Lockheed Vega, she encountered strong winds and icy conditions. Her goal was to match Lindbergh’s feat and land in Paris, but after a fifteen-hour flight beset with mechanical problems, she decided to touch down when she encountered terra firma, landing safely in northwestern Ireland. Upon greeting her, McCallon asked, "Have you flown far?" Earhart answered, "From America."

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  • Title: Amelia Earhart
  • Creator: Underwood & Underwood
  • Date Created: 1932
  • Physical Dimensions: w17.5 x h22.7 cm (Image)
  • Type: Gelatin silver print
  • Rights: National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of George R. Rinhart, in memory of Joan Rinhart
  • Classification: Photograph

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