If you’ve got an extra $15,000 lying around, perhaps you’d like to spend it on a motivational poster in the form of a letter from Amelia Earhart. In 1933, the pioneering female pilot wasn’t too cool to write back to her fans, and responded to 13-year-old June Pierson who asked for advice on how to break into the aviation industry.
The letter has been put up for sale by The Raab Collection, reports People. “It is very hard for me to advise you about taking up aviation as a vocation inasmuch as I do not know you,” Earhart’s correspondence began. “However, if you are really determined to fly, and are willing to make the sacrifices necessary, I should certainly not discourage you from the attempt.” Earhart continued with specific details, such as the necessary physical examinations and flying lessons. She also suggested Pierson get her foot in the door with secretarial work and obtaining a position “on the ‘fringes.’”
Earhart described her hope for more female presence in the flying industry. “As far as woman’s opportunities in flying go, I think they will improve as they have in all industries,” she wrote. “Just now there are no pilots on the regular scheduled airlines. Someday I expect there will be.”
According to her official website, Earhart took her first flying lesson in 1921 and in six months, saved enough money to purchase her first plane. She used it to set her first women’s record by rising to an altitude of 14,000 feet. In 1928, she made headlines when she became the first woman to fly across the Atlantic Ocean.
Earhart’s last flight occurred on July 2, 1937, when she famously disappeared during an attempt to complete an around-the-world trip. In a letter to her husband had wrote, “Please know I am quite aware of the hazards. I want to do it because I want to do it. Women must try to do things as men have tried. When they fail, their failure must be but a challenge to others.”
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