Sammy Nickalls
July 24, 2015 9:40 am

Today, July 24th, is Amelia Earhart Day — and would have been her 118th birthday. Born in 1897, the pilot and author from Atchison, Kansas was the very first female aviator to fly by herself across the Atlantic Ocean, and in 1937, she attempted to fly around the world with her navigator, Fred Noonan. Tragically, she never returned.

It’s been almost 90 years since the trailblazing pioneer and feminist embarked on what’s thought to be her final journey, but we remember her still, on this day and every day. Fiercely independent, Amelia dared to do things that no one else had even dreamed of. She was constantly challenging herself while inspiring other girls to take the wheel and achieve their goals (without worrying about those who tell them it can’t be done). For all of this and more, she has cemented herself into American history.

Not only is she known for her bravery, independence, and ingenuity, but for her wisdom as well. So today, we’ve handpicked a few of our absolute favorite Amelia Earhart quotes that we always try to live by.

On taking risks: “Flying may not be all plain sailing, but the fun of it is worth the price.”

On shattering gender constructs: “One of my favorite phobias is that girls, especially those whose tastes aren’t routine, often don’t get a fair break… It has come down through the generations, an inheritance of age-old customs which produced the corollary that women are bred to timidity.”

On determination: “The most effective way to do it is to do it.”

On discovery: “It is true that there are no more geographical frontiers to push back, no new lands flowing with milk and honey this side of the moon to promise surcease from man-made ills. But there are economic, political, scientific, and artistic frontiers of the most exciting sort awaiting faith and the spirit of adventure to discover them.”

On kindness: “No kind action ever stops with itself. One kind action leads to another. Good example is followed. A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees. The greatest work that kindness does to others is that it makes them kind themselves.”

On feminism: “Women must try to do things as men have tried. When they fail, their failure must be a challenge to others.”

On dreams: “Never interrupt someone doing what you said couldn’t be done.”

On life experience: “The more one does and sees and feels, the more one is able to do, and the more genuine may be one’s appreciation of fundamental things like home, and love, and understanding companionship.”

On double standards: “[Women] must pay for everything…. They do get more glory than men for comparable feats. But, also, women get more notoriety when they crash.”

On being prepared: “Preparation, I have often said, is rightly two-thirds of any venture.”

On conquering fear: “The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity. The fears are paper tigers. You can do anything you decide to do. You can act to change and control your life; and the procedure, the process is its own reward.”

In her last letter to her husband before her final flight: “Please know that I am quite aware of the hazards. Women must try to do things as men have tried. When they fail, their failure must be but a challenge to others.”

Thank you, Amelia, for blazing the trail for women everywhere. You will always be an inspiration to all of us, not only today, but for centuries to come.

(Images via Shutterstock)

Related:

There’s new footage of Amelia Earhart’s last days

3 haikus for Amelia Earhart

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