Aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart’s Oglethorpe connection

Georgia Governor Eugene Talmadge awards Amelia Earhart with an Oglethorpe honorary degree, May 26, 1935. (AP Photo)

On what would have been the 120th birthday of legendary pilot Amelia Earhart, we look back at her under-the-radar ties to Oglethorpe.

In 1935, the university and President Thornwell Jacobs declared the “Year of the Woman” and awarded 12 women honorary degrees in a variety of fields, with Earhart leading the group with an honorary doctorate of public service, recognizing her innovation in aviation. At the time, Earhart was famous for her solo transatlantic flight and toured the world putting on demonstrations and promoting her craft.

Two years later, Earhart would disappear over the Pacific Ocean┬áduring her attempt at a round-the-world flight, an event also hitting a major anniversary this month. There has been renewed interest in Earhart’s story as new photos allegedly show the pilot alive under Japanese custody in the Marshall Islands.

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