Earhart and Noonan had successfully completed the first 22,000 miles of the trip when on July 2, 1937 they departed from Lae, New Guinea to complete the last 7,000 miles of the journey (1). The aviators planned to refuel on Howland Island in the North Pacific. However, this leg of the flight did not go according to plan. Despite favorable flying conditions, Earhart reported running low on fuel and was not able to locate the island for refueling. Next, the plane disappeared and no trace of them was found. While there are many theories on what occurred that day, the most probable scenario is that the plane ran out of fuel and plunged into the ocean (1). In the search for the nation's dear Amelia, sixty planes and ten ships were put to work. The team searched 25,000 square miles, costing upwards of four million dollars during the two week expedition (3). The search efforts proved to be unsuccessful, and since no body was ever found, Earhart was not given a funeral nor memorial service. Furthermore, there were no national tributes or flags lowered to half-mast (7). Two years after her disappearance on January 5, 1939, the following tiny paragraph appeared in the back pages of newspapers accross the country:
"Amelia Earhart, noted women flyer who disappeared on an around the world flight in the summer of 1937, was declared legally dead today. The action was taken at the request of the flyer's husband, George Palmer Putnam" (7).