Amelia Earhart was still about seven months away from making her historic solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean, but she was still a big draw when she spoke at at the YMCA on campus on this day in 1931.
Earhart had become famous a few years earlier, when she joined two other pilots in 1928 for a 21-hour flight from Newfoundland to Wales. Earhart and the other two pilots were honored with a ticker-tape parade in New York and a reception at the White House when they returned to the United States.
During her visit to NC State, Earhart naturally talked about aviation and what she described as “autogiros,” according to a story in the Technician. But when it came time to answer questions, the students wanted to know about her flight over the Atlantic.
“However, we did catch a few views of the vast expanse of water whenever there were breaks in the fog blanket. The plane was equipped with pontoons so that in case of a forced landing we would not be in quite the same condition as if we were without them.”