Today would have been Amelia Earhart’s 117th birthday. The famous aviatrix was born on July 24,1897 and died July 2, 1937 while attempting to fly around the world. Her plane crashed while flying from Lae, New Guinea to Howland Island. Earhart wrote two books during her life time: 20 Hrs. 40min.(1928) and The Fun of It (1932). While photographing 20hrs. 40min., I discovered that the book originally belonged to Bertha Shambaugh. Bertha’s husband, Benjamin Shambaugh, chairman of the University Lecture series, is in the photograph with Earhart.
On March 31, 1936, Earhart visited the University of Iowa as part of the University Lecture series. Bertha recorded the event in both her copy of Earhart’s book and in one of the Shambaugh house books—diaries Bertha kept that detail their lives and University campus life. In the house book she included several newspaper clippings and the University Lectures advertisement. Bertha described that “Amelia Earhart’s lecture is a not a great one - but is entertaining.” She did not attend the lecture herself, but instead recorded Benjamin’s report. The majority of the entry is dedicated to complaining about the ticket situation for the event which apparently was a mess—only 1,800 seats were available and the campus population was close to 7,000! Benjamin gave up his seat and listened to the lecture from a doorway! It seems that Benjamin made an impression as a host, Bertha particularly noted that “Miss Earhart seemed to appreciate Benjamin’s protection of her from exploitation. She thought there should be a special medal struck off for such chairmen. She has the dislike of the average ‘distinguished guest’ of banquets and receptions in her honor.”
Here’s to Lady Lindy!
Check out uimapcoll's earlier post of Richard Byrd’s flight map which was partially funded by Earhart!
TL721.E3 A3 1928