Unknown Story: Amelia Earhart's Tie to WNY

5:00 PM, Feb 15, 2012   |    comments
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LeROY, N.Y. -- Mention Amelia Earhart and most people would connect aviation to her name.  But many do not know that Earhart has ties to Western New York.

Donald Woodward, an industrial businessman in LeRoy, decided to try his hand in the aviation industry in the late 20's, according to historian Brian Duddy.  He decided that to make his mark, he would gather a group together to carry the first woman to fly the Atlantic Ocean.  His choice?  Amelia Earhart.

Duddy said Earhart was not involved in the aviation business, in fact she was a social worker, but she had great character.  "She looked a little like Lindbergh which was helpful in promoting the cause of aviation, because Lindbergh had flown the Atlantic the year before."

The plane named "Friendship" took flight in June 1928.  When they returned, Woodward built an airport in LeRoy.  The Donald Woodard Airport still stands and is currently used as a garage by the LeRoy highway department.

Click on the video link at the top of the page to see Pete Gallivan's latest Unknown Story.

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