Did You Know?… Amelia Earhart flight-tested a wingless autogiro prototype version of the helicopter in 1931 and, as a sales agent, sold the first model to William E. Scripps of Orion for use by the Detroit News. (Source: Orion Historical Society.)
Most people remember Amelia Earhart as being the second person – and first woman – to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean in 1932.
Or for her fateful attempt to circumnavigate the globe in 1937.
In fact, her disappearance in July 2, 1937 over the central Pacific Ocean while attempting to make a circumnavigational flight of the globe in a Lockheed Model 10-E Electra with navigator Fred Noonan remains one of the great mysteries of the 20th Century.
But during her aviation career, Earhart also visited Michigan 27 times in the 1920s and 1930s, including several visits specifically to the Orion area.
Learn more about Amelia Earhart and her visits to Michigan at When Amelia Came to Michigan, a special presentation at the Orion Township Public Library beginning at 7 p.m. on June 11.
Local historians Al and Dave Eicher will present hundreds of photographs, old film footage, music from the 1920s and 1930s, and their collection of Michigan newspaper articles about Amelia Earhart.
The Eicher’s contacted more than 400 libraries across Michigan during their research for the project on Earhart’s travels in the state.
The presentation is sponsored by the Orion Historical Society and the Orion Township Public Library.
Some other Michigan facts about Amelia Earhart:
In the winter of 1929, Earhart visited William E. Scripp’s estate in Lake Orion for dinner where he asked her to test a new glider. She successfully flight-tested a glider for Scripps, owner of Gliders, Inc. and the Detroit News, on July 5, 1930, at Grosse Ile Airport, setting three speed records.
She received the United States Distinguished Flying Cross for her solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean.
She set many other records and wrote best-selling books about her flying experiences.
The Orion Historical Society meets regularly at the Orion Library and is always looking for new members. Members learn about Orion Township’s history and work on projects to preserve the past. The next meeting is 7 p.m. Aug. 13.
For more information about the Orion Historical Society contact Beth Sheridan, Adult Services Head librarian at email@example.com or 248-693-3000 ext. 332.
The Orion Township Public Library is at 825 Joslyn Rd.
For more information on the Eichers’ presentations, visit www.program-source.com. – Jim Newell