Herbert Hoover photo

Remarks on Presenting the Gold Medal of the National Geographic Society to Amelia Earhart.

June 21, 1932

"IT IS a great pleasure to come here and share in your honoring of Mrs. Amelia Earhart Putnam. She has shown a splendid courage and skill in flying alone across the Atlantic Ocean. She has often before demonstrated her ability to accomplish the most difficult tasks that she set herself to do. She has been modest and good-humored. All these things combine to place her in spirit with the great pioneering women to whom every generation of Americans has looked up with admiration for their firmness of will, their strength of character, and their cheerful spirit of comradeship in the work of the world. It is significant that she found the first outlet for her energies in social settlement work, and that through all her succession of triumphs in aviation, her transcontinental and transoceanic flights, she has continued active in this warmly human labor. Her success has not been won by the selfish pursuit of a purely personal ambition, but as part of a career generously animated by a wish to help others to share in the rich opportunities of life, and by a wish also to enlarge those opportunities by expanding the powers of women as well as men to their ever-widening limits.

"Mrs. Putnam has made all mankind her debtor by her demonstration of new possibilities of the human spirit and the human will in overcoming the barriers of space and the restrictions of nature upon the radius of human activity. The Nation is proud that an American woman should be the first woman in history to fly an airplane alone across the Atlantic Ocean. As their spokesman, I take pride and pleasure in conferring this rarely bestowed medal of the National Geographic Society upon Mrs. Amelia Earhart Putnam."

Note: The President spoke at approximately 8 p.m. in Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C. Amelia Earhart Putnam was the first woman to receive the society's medal for notable geographic attainment.

Herbert Hoover, Remarks on Presenting the Gold Medal of the National Geographic Society to Amelia Earhart. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/207095

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