Jane Mendelsohn: Amelia Earhart, Found and Lost
Jane Mendelsohn is the author of “I Was Amelia Earhart” and “American Music.”
THERE was a picture of Amelia Earhart in the newspaper. Actually, it was in this newspaper. I read the accompanying article while riding on a train from New Haven to New York when I was in my mid-20s. Although I had graduated a few years earlier, I was still living in the town where I’d gone to college. New Haven was cheap, and book reviews paid money back then. This was in the early ’90s. The train was quiet. No one had a cellphone. The article in the newspaper said that a search party believed it had found a piece of Earhart’s plane on an atoll in the Pacific. And maybe a piece of her shoe.
I didn’t know much about Amelia Earhart, but the idea of her surviving on a desert island, even if only for a little while, appealed to me, sang to me, waved furiously to me from a great distance. Perhaps this was because I felt at the time as if I were flying hopelessly around the world and searching for land, longing for one of those islands of stability some of us keep looking for in our 20s, a braceleted wrist held up to the face, hand shielding our eyes from the harsh sun of adulthood, not realizing that we will have to build that island for ourselves. Whatever the reason, I was certainly not the first person to be fascinated by Earhart’s disappearance. Nor the last. This July 2 it will be 75 years since she vanished while attempting to circumnavigate the globe, and people are still wondering what happened to her, still compelled by the mystery — Was she a spy? Was she captured by the Japanese? Did she sink or survive? — still searching for her shoe....
comments powered by Disqus
- Hull of Confederate Submarine H.L. Hunley Found 150 Years Later
- U.S. Textbook Skews History, Prime Minister of Japan Says
- Recalling a Film From the Liberation of the Camps
- Skull Fossil Offers New Clues on Human Journey From Africa
- Are crude conspiracies right? Research shows nations really do go to war over oil
- Ronald Suny says historians have shied away from exploring the roots of the Armenian genocide for fear of taking attention away from the victims
- Columbia University professors Eric Foner, Alan Brinkley, and Alice Kessler-Harris to retire
- A powerhouse appropriations subcommittee is now headed by a historian: Republican Rep. Tom Cole (OK)
- Slavic scholars divided over a scholarship sponsored (and withdrawn) by Stephen F. Cohen
- Claire Strom to Step Down as Editor of Agricultural History