Amelia Earhart flew into the Anderson, SC airport in her Pitcairn PCA-2 Autogyro on November 14, 1931 and attracted over 1,000 spectators. Mayor G.T. McGregor and other city leaders met her at the airport. In May of that year, flying that plane, the thirty three year old had set a world altitude record of 18,415 feet.
In May the following year she flew across the Atlantic Ocean alone from Newfoundland to Ireland, the first woman to do so. In January of 1935 Earhart became the first person to fly solo from Honolulu, Hawaii to Oakland, California. Then, in June 1937, Amelia Earhart tried to fly around the world in a Lockheed 10E Electra, and the newspapers were full of news of her journey. She vanished over the Pacific Ocean en route to New Guinea.
While to us it might seem that Earhart was engaged in flying stunts, she was, with other female flyers, crucial to making the American public ‘air minded’ and convincing them that aviation was no longer just for daredevils and supermen.
sources: South Carolina Postcards: Anderson County, by Howard Woody, Arcadia Publishing, 2003