Interesting Visitors to the Lord Baltimore Hotel – Amelia Earhart

From the time of its opening at the end of 1928, the Lord Baltimore Hotel has hosted many interesting events, as well as many famous guests. One of the earliest and most famous guests was pioneering pilot Amelia Earhart, as described by The Baltimore Sun’s Frederick N. Rasmussen in 2009:

“In 1928, Earhart became the first woman to cross the Atlantic Ocean in an airplane when she flew aboard a Fokker F-7 trimotor piloted by Wilmer Stultz from Newfoundland to Wales.

When interviewed after the flight, Earhart, who had done none of the flying on the journey, told reporters, “Stultz did all of the flying – had to. I was just baggage, like a sack of potatoes.”

She added: “Maybe someday I’ll try it alone.”

On a March 4, 1930, visit to Baltimore, where she was greeted by Glenn L. Martin, Earhart told The Evening Sun, “The number of women flyers has increased from 12 in January 1929 to 200 today. I see a big future for women in this work.”

In the interview, she predicted that women would have a major role in aviation in the next war.

“I hate to think about another. There probably will be one, however, and women undoubtedly will be of service in carrying planes to the flyers who will actually use them in combat,” she said.

At a dinner in her honor that evening at the Lord Baltimore Hotel, Earhart explained that female fliers are more cautious than men because they have been “bred to humility.”

In 1932, Earhart became the first woman to fly nonstop across the Atlantic alone, in a Lockheed Vega 5B from Newfoundland to a pasture near Derry, Ireland, on a flight that lasted 14 hours and 56 minutes.

During the flight, she encountered strong winds, icing and mechanical problems.

As she bounced to a stop, a farmer asked, “Have you flown far?”

“From America,” she replied.”  Amelia and Eleanor night flight

Three years later, Earhart flew First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt and company from the Washington D.C. area to Baltimore and back. Rasmussen again:

“Earhart broke up a White House dinner party on April 20, 1933, when she invited Eleanor Roosevelt to go on a flight to Baltimore and back.

The president was away, but dinner guests who abandoned the table included Hall Roosevelt, the first lady’s brother; Thomas Wardwell Doe, president of Eastern Air Transport; and Eugene Luther “Gene” Vidal, head of the U.S. Commerce Department’s Bureau of Air Commerce, and his wife – the parents of author Gore Vidal.

Dressed in their evening clothes, the party went to Hoover Field in Arlington, Va., the first airport to open in the area, and climbed aboard an Eastern Air Transport twin-engine Curtis Condor.

Earhart, dressed in a white silk gown and wearing white kid gloves, was at the controls of the plane for most of the flight.

Mrs. Roosevelt, who had just received her student pilot’s license, was by Earhart’s side.

“I’d love to do it myself. I make no bones about it,” Roosevelt told The Sun. “It does mark an epoch, doesn’t it, when a girl in an evening dress and slippers can pilot a plane at night.””  Amelia and Eleanor night flight

There even still exists an autographed program and menu from the event at the Lord Baltimore Hotel on March 4, 1930. The price? A mere $23,000.

“Program/Menu signed: “Amelia Earhart”. Shaped like her airplane and numbered “46397“, 10½-inches long, for “Aviation Nite/Traffic Club/of/Baltimore/Dinner Dance/March 4th, 1930/Lord Baltimore Hotel”. A list of “Honored Guests” is affixed on verso.” Amelia M. Earhart LBH items

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