On this day in 1935, legendary pilot Amelia Earhart embarked on a 2,408-mile trip from Honolulu, Hawaii to Oakland, California. The next day, she became the first person to fly solo to the United States mainland from Hawaii. Since she had flown over the Atlantic Ocean five years earlier, this flight also made her the first person to fly across both the Pacific and Atlantic oceans.
To commemorate these remarkable achievements, Zonta celebrates 11 January as Amelia Earhart Day. Today we remember her contributions to the aerospace industry and her empowerment of women in science.
Amelia Earhart has remained a legendary heroine for generations of girls; however, 83 years after Earhart’s historic flight, women are still far outnumbered in the workforce in physics, computer sciences and engineering. They make up just under 30 percent of the world’s scientists, and less than 10 percent of space scientists are women.
To encourage more women to pursue advanced education and careers in these still male-dominated fields, Zonta International annually awards women pursuing Ph.D./doctoral degrees in aerospace-related sciences or engineering with the Amelia Earhart Fellowship. Helping these talented women achieve their educational and professional goals is just one way Zonta carries out its mission to give women access to all resources and the ability to be represented in decision-making positions on an equal basis with men.
In recognition of Amelia Earhart’s trailblazing spirit and perseverance, I encourage all clubs to celebrate Amelia Earhart Month by planning related programs and fundraisers for the Zonta International Foundation Amelia Earhart Fellowship Fund. After your events, please share your story and photos with us.
Click here to watch and share a video about Earhart’s vision and how valid it still is today.