HONOLULU (Hawaii News Now) - Amelia Earhart was a pioneer in the world of aviation. Matson Navigation put together a special exhibit in her honor at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel. It opens Saturday, July 24, which also happens to be Amelia's birthday.
December 27th, 1934: Amelia Earhart stepped off Matson Naviation's SS Lurlene and onto Hawaiian soil.
"When she first arrived here, she made an announcement that she and her husband were just going to be vacationing," says Lynn Blocker Krantz, who manages the Matson Navigation Company Archives. "But then everyone saw her plane coming off the ship and kind of wondered what was going on. The press started going crazy."
Amelia and her husband, publisher George Putnam, spent the next 15 days lounging in paradise. Cameras captured her sharing a pineapple with legendary waterman Duke Kahanamoku. "We really don't know how they came to meet each other. I'm sure when they were here they were formally introduced."
Other photos reveal more intimate moments: Amelia reading a book, a kimono draped around her shoulders, or fresh from a swim off Waikiki Beach.
"She's so animated, she's so beautiful. And you see her in a way you've never seen her before."
Ukulele players serenaded Amelia and George at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel. That same veranda is still a visitors' retreat today. "That happens to be very historical to the Royal Hawaiian Hotel."
January 11, 1935: Amelia left Honolulu and flew to Oakland in her Lockheed Vega. It took her 18 hours and 15 minutes. She was the first person ever to make that trip.
"You really get a sense of how alive she was and she had that joie de vivre, that zest for life. You can really see that in these prints."