Born July 24
By: Legacy Staff
30 days ago
Amelia Earhart became an icon for generations of restless spirits when, as a young woman, she declared that she would learn to fly. Learn she did, becoming one of the pioneers of women in aviation, and she quickly went on to set speed and altitude records, as well as a number of "firsts." She was the first woman to fly the Atlantic Ocean, the first person to fly nonstop from Honolulu to Los Angeles and the first person to fly the Atlantic Ocean twice. Her adventurous spirit captivated the people of her time, and they eagerly watched as she prepared to fly all the way around the globe. With just Earhart and her navigator, Fred Noonan, on board, her Lockheed Electra buzzed from California to Florida, down South America and across the Atlantic. But as she attempted the grueling Pacific leg of the journey, her plane was lost. For more than 75 years, searchers have attempted to find the remains of the Electra and Earhart herself. The mystery continues to tantalize, and Earhart's bold legacy to inspire. We remember Earhart's life today as well as the lives of other notable people who were born this day in history.
1978: Andy Irons, U.S. professional surfer who won a number of world titles, is born in Kauai, Hawaii.
Irons claimed the world championship in 2002, '03 and '04, becoming an icon in the surfing world. He was also revered on his home island of Kauai, along with his younger brother Bruce, also a pro surfer. Irons was raised and learned how to surf on the tranquil and scenic North Shore, where he was married. In a video posted by his longtime sponsor, Billabong, Irons talked about his first wave he ever caught. "I thought right then, 'This is the coolest thing in the world.' ... I literally will never forget that wave," Irons said. Read more
1939: Walt Bellamy, U.S. professional basketball player who was NBA rookie of the year in 1962, is born in New Bern, North Carolina.
The former Indiana University star won an Olympic gold medal in 1960 and was the first overall pick by the Chicago Packers in 1961. He was the rookie of the year with Chicago, averaging 31.6 points and 19.0 rebounds, and also played for the Baltimore Bullets, New York Knicks, Detroit Pistons, Atlanta and New Orleans Jazz. He played in four All-Star games and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1993. Read more
1921: Billy Taylor, U.S. jazz pianist who was the first African-American bandleader on a talk show, The David Frost Show, is born in Greenville, North Carolina.
1920: Bella Abzug, U.S. lawyer and politician who represented New York in the U.S. House of Representatives and was a leader of the women's movement, is born in New York, New York.
1916: John D. MacDonald, U.S. novelist known for his Travis McGee series and for The Executioners, which was adapted for the screen as Cape Fear, is born in Sharon, Pennsylvania.
1916: Bob Eberly, U.S. singer who recorded the original version of the standard "I'm Glad There Is You," is born in Mechanicville, New York.
1915: Dick Sprang, U.S. illustrator known best for his work on Batman, for which he redesigned the Batmobile and created the design for the Riddler, is born in Fremont, Ohio.
1900: Zelda Fitzgerald, U.S. author and poet who was the wife of F. Scott Fitzgerald, is born in Montgomery, Alabama.
1897: Amelia Earhart, U.S. pilot who was a pioneer of women in aviation and famously disappeared while attempting to fly around the world, is born in Atchison, Kansas.
According to reporting from Discovery.com, researchers have positively identified a piece of aluminum as part of Earhart's Electra aircraft that disappeared July 2, 1937, over the Pacific Ocean. The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR) examined the piece of metal, found in 1991 on the uninhabited island Nikumaroro, and now claims it is indeed part of the plane. Read more
1860: Alphonse Mucha, Czech artist who created well-known art nouveau paintings, is born in Ivancice, Austrian Empire.
1802: Alexandre Dumas, French author and playwright known best for novels including The Count of Monte Cristo and The Three Musketeers, is born in Villers-Cotterets, France.
1783: Simon Bolivar, Venezuelan military leader and politician who fought to secure independence from Spain and became president of Venezuela, is born in Caracas, Spanish Empire.