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a monthly look at the faces that have made history

Amelia Earhart

"As soon as we left the ground, I knew I had to fly," Amelia Earhart is reported to have said after her first flight. And fly she did. Fascination with the "Queen of the Air" endures in large part due to her mysterious disappearance over the Pacific in 1937, but the plucky aviatrix's gender-defying talents—she was the first female to fly solo across the Atlantic—made her one of the most celebrated faces of her own time. Clad in leather jackets, silk ties, and slim trousers, the Kansas-born tomboy ushered in an era of independence for women confined until then to corsets and sitting rooms. Indeed, her slight frame and boyish crop of tousled hair led to comparisons with Charles Lindbergh—her generation's other great pilot. But behind those goggles "Lady Lindy" was a true beauty, with silver-dollar eyes, a slender neck, and freckles scattered across a button nose. An exhibition celebrating Earhart's life and her iconic image opens today, May 11th, at New York's International Center of Photography.

— Alison Baenen

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