Amelia Earhart drops in

Posted by | November 14, 2008

Amelia Earhart in Anderson SCAmelia Earhart flew into the Anderson, SC airport in her Pitcairn PCA-2 Autogyro on Nov 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
www.experiencefestival.com/a/Amelia_Earhart/id/1910138
www.aiaa.org/content.cfm?pageid=260&period=1930s

Amelia+Earhart Anderson+SC appalachia appalachian+history appalachian+mountains+history

6 Responses

  • Sarah Vallieu says:

    Does anyone know the names of the other folks in the picture with Amelia Earhart? I am doing research on an earlier female aviator, Nell Foster Behr, who, with her husband, may have owned the Anderson Airport at the time of this photo.

    Thanks,

    Sarah Vallieu

  • Gray Suggs says:

    3rd from the right is Forest D. Suggs, Sr. and 6th from the right is his wife, Mary Stark Suggs. They were my grandparents.

  • Diane Crane says:

    Gray, I’ve seen this photo many times, but never knew those were your grandparents until I finally saw a copy with the people identified. What a historic day that was for them and for Anderson!

  • Diane Crane says:

    These are the people identified as being in the photo as it appeared in the newspaper: “Bonner Kidd (from left): J.H. Mitchell, Anderson Mayor G.T. McGregor, Amelia Earhart, Mrs. F.D. Suggs, Mrs. J.H. Mitchell, Dr. F.D. Suggs, Pete Thornton, Lon Sullivan, Tom Speer, and Phil Garrison. The two women at the right are unidentified. Mr. Speer and Mr. Garrison worked for Piedmont Candy and Cigar Co., the local business that helped arrange Amelia Earhart’s stop in Anderson.”

  • Bronson Marshall says:

    Bonner Kidd was correctly identified as the gentleman on the far left. The woman to the right of Amelia was his wife, Maybelle. They were my great-grandparents.

  • Judy Moore Darby says:

    It is so exciting, to find that someone is looking for information about the Behrs, as I am also. The Behrs were good friends of my parents even before I was born.

    I was in their home across the road from the airport many times and I always thought it was so wonderful that the entire family called Nell “Honey” as in “honey bear”. Then there was also Teddy Behr, Billy Behr, and Nellie Behr, who
    was my age.

    Howard Behr came to Anderson in the late eighties or early nineties to visit my mother and had lunch at our home. Nell had died some time before that and Howard sat at our table and talked about her with tears rolling down his cheeks. He was such a dear man.

    Nell actually taught my father to fly a plane— just for fun.

    That is the last time I have heard anything from any of the Behrs. I always thought Nell had female pilot license number two in the US. But that may not be true. I would love to have any information about them.

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