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Amelia Earhart...
Where Her Love of Flying Began

Amelia Earhart, 1936

Amelia Earhart standing in front of a training airplane, 1936. Courtesy of the Army Air Corps and the National Archives.

Legendary aviator Amelia Earhart first discovered her passion for flying at Daugherty Field in Long Beach on December 28, 1920, where she was given a $10, 10-minute airplane ride (paid for by her father). “By the time I had got two or three hundred feet off the ground," she said, "I knew I had to fly." She determined to learn to fly. Working as a photographer, truck driver, and stenographer, she saved $1,000 to pay for pilot lessons. Her first lessons began on January 3, 1921 at Kinner Field in South Gate (the first municipally-owned airfield in the Los Angeles area). It took a bus ride to the end of the line, then a four mile walk to get to the airfield. Her mother put in some of the $1,000 against her "better judgment." Her flight instructor was pioneer female aviator Anita "Neta" Snook. After arriving with her father for her first lesson, Earhart asked, "I want to fly. Will you teach me?" Earhart earned her pilot's license the following year.