By Mark Mikula
History is a dynamic field of study. New discoveries and ongoing research often provide opportunities to learn new facts about the people and events that have shaped our world. One of American history’s long-standing mysteries regards the fate of the storied aviator Amelia Earhart, whose plane went missing in 1937 during her attempt to circumnavigate the world with navigator Fred Noonan. Various theories regarding her disappearance have been put forward, but a few years ago, a photograph was discovered in the National Archives that is being analysed to determine whether its subjects include both Earhart and Noonan on one of the Marshall Islands. If their likenesses can be confirmed, it will add credence to speculation that Earhart and Noonan survived after their plane went down.
The photo was found by an enthusiastic former government employee who was investigating the aviator’s disappearance. Its discovery demonstrates that careful examination of physical evidence can result in a more complete picture of the world we inhabit regardless of one’s level of experience.
Both U.S. History In Context and Biography In Context feature topic pages on Amelia Earhart that include reference content, photos, current news, and a video that shed light on the aviator’s accomplishments and her disappearance.
U.S. History in Context also has a portal on The Dawning of the Age of Aviation that provides larger context on the subject of flight in the twentieth century.
Request a trial to check out National Geographic Virtual Library for a 1932 article on the ceremony at which President Herbert Hoover presented Earhart with the National Geographic Society’s Special Gold Medal honouring her solo flight across the Atlantic. Earhart was the first woman to receive this special honour.
Do you think the newly discovered photo solves the 80 year old mystery of this American heroine’s disappearance? Dig deeper into the mystery by requesting a trial >>