Skip to content

Why a city in Northern Ireland is celebrating the 90th anniversary of Amelia Earhart’s solo flight across the Atlantic

May 21, 2022
5 min read
Why a city in Northern Ireland is celebrating the 90th anniversary of Amelia Earhart’s solo flight across the Atlantic
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Amelia Earhart made world headlines and set three major records 90 years ago. In May 1932, she became the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. Five years earlier, Charles Lindbergh was the first man to make that solo trip.

With her solo flight, Earhart also became the first person to fly across the Atlantic Ocean twice. In 1928, she had traveled as a passenger in a Fokker Trimotor aircraft piloted by two men.

Earhart’s 1932 flight also set a speed record: Her bright red Lockheed Vega crossed the ocean in 15 hours. Lindbergh’s 1927 flight across the Atlantic took 33 hours and 30 minutes, and Earhart’s 1928 transatlantic flight as a passenger took 20 hours and 40 minutes. Today, that journey takes around five hours.

For more TPG news delivered each morning to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

Earhart’s 1932 flight across the Atlantic Ocean was groundbreaking and headline-grabbing in other ways, too.

(Photo by Keystone-FranceGamma-Rapho/Getty Images)

She had planned to fly from Harbour Grace, Newfoundland, to Paris. However, due to weather and engine problems — including a gas tank leak and a burned-out exhaust manifold — Earhart made an unscheduled landing in a field owned by Robert Gallagher and his family outside Derry in Northern Ireland.

“I cruised inland until I found a suitable pasture. I landed there after frightening all the cows in the neighborhood and rolled up to the farmer’s front door,” Earhart said during a Movietone interview at the American embassy in London not long after the flight. “The owner of the land came out, and I think he was surprised to find an airplane in the front yard.”

https://youtu.be/4BgAKnpK7p4

Related: The best ways to get to Europe using points and miles

Sign up for our daily newsletter

Three years later, the BBC interviewed Gallagher’s wife, Isobel, who described how a red airplane circled around the house a couple of times before landing in the field at about 2 p.m. on “one of those lovely hot afternoons you sometimes get in May."

“The first farmhand that got to the airplane saw that there was a woman in it and asked her where she’d come from," and the pilot told her "America."

Earhart had arrived with no change of clothing and just $20 in cash. “I suspected she might be hungry,” Gallagher added, “so I got a meal ready for her. She said she hadn’t had anything but tomato juice since she’d left America.”

(Photo by Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)

The Gallaghers gave Earhart hot tea “and fed her when she had begun to recover from the strain of the flight," according to a United Press International report written at the time. "Mrs. Gallagher gave her a dress to wear, and it was in their home that she ate breakfast and luncheon before her departure,” the report continued.

Word spread that Earhart was at the farm. Before she left, Earhart posed for photographers and signed autographs. “The crowd grew so rapidly that police were hard-pressed to control it,” UPI reported.

Celebrating Earhart’s arrival 90 years later

“When Amelia landed here, no one had ever seen a woman driving a car, let alone flying an airplane or wearing trousers,” said Nicole McElhinney, co-founder of the Amelia Earhart Legacy Association, which is based in Derry. “Her fearless spirit was revolutionary, particularly for women, and continues to be an inspiration around the world.”

And, of course, in Derry.

The pasture where Earhart landed is now a golf course, and the spot where the plane touched down is the sixth hole. Derry’s Visitor Information Centre theater runs a film about the famous flyer.

Related: Teen pilot becomes youngest woman to fly the world solo

There were events yesterday and today to mark the 90th anniversary of Earhart’s historic landing at Gallagher’s farm.

Highlights of the celebration included flyovers and aeronautical displays, a new Amelia Earhart walking tour, the unveiling of 48-foot-long mural telling the story of Amelia Earhart's historic flight and a speakeasy event where drinks will feature Earhart Gin and botanicals picked from the field where Amelia landed.

The weekend also included the Amelia Earhart 90th Commemorative World Radio Call, which connected the field where Earhart landed to the Amelia Earhart Memorial Airport in Earhart's hometown of Atchison, Kansas, and Harbour Grace, Newfoundland, where Earhart started her journey.

(Photo by Heritage Art/Heritage Images/Getty Images)

The Amelia Earhart STEM challenge is also taking place this weekend. Students from across Northern Ireland can build model airplanes to compete in design challenges; awards will go to the team with the longest flying distance and the best plane aesthetic. The winning team will take a helicopter ride over Derry, along the flight path of Earhart’s landing on Gallagher’s farm.

Representatives from the Amelia Earhart Hangar Museum in Atchison, Kansas, were scheduled to be on hand for the festivities as well. “We’re committed to sharing Amelia’s story of tenacity and courage to inspire future generations — in Kansas, in Derry and around the globe,” said Karen Seaberg, the museum's founder and president.

When the museum opens sometime in 2023, its centerpiece will be Muriel — the world’s last remaining Lockheed Electra 10-E. The aircraft is identical to the plane Amelia Earhart flew on her final flight, and it's named for Earhart’s younger sister.

Featured image by Getty Images
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Top offers from our partners

How we chose these cards

Our points-obsessed staff uses a plethora of credit cards on a daily basis. If anyone on our team wouldn’t recommend it to a friend or a family member, we wouldn’t recommend it on The Points Guy either. Our opinions are our own, and have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by our advertising partners.
See all best card offers

TPG featured card

Best premium travel card for value
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

1 - 10X points
10xEarn 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
5xEarn 5x total points on flights through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
3xEarn 3x points on other travel and dining.
1xEarn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases

Intro offer

80,000 bonus points
Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

Annual Fee

$550

Recommended Credit

740-850
Excellent
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

Pros

  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners
  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more
Best premium travel card for value
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10xEarn 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
5xEarn 5x total points on flights through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
3xEarn 3x points on other travel and dining.
1xEarn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

    80,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $550
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

Pros

  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners
  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more