On July 2, 1937, Amelia Earhart and her navigator Frederick Noonan disappeared during flight. Earhart had left from Lae, New Guinea, and was suppose to arrive at Howland Island to refuel. Howland Island is only one-and-a-half miles long and half-a-mile wide in the great abyss of the Pacific Ocean. Two U.S. ships were located along the route and ordered to keep all their lights on to help Earhart mark the way. Another ship, the ITASCA, was the couple's radio connection close to Howland. When Earhart took off the morning of July 2, the skies were overcast and intermittent rain showers prevailed. The weather made Noonan's method of tracking, based on celestial navigation, very difficult. Earhart radioed the ITASCA for bearings, but while the ship sent her a steady stream of measurements, Earhart received none of the transmissions and radio contact was difficult due to the weather. At 7:42 A.M. Earhart sent the message to the ITASCA saying, “We must be on you, but we cannot see you. Fuel is running low. Been unable to reach you by radio. We are flying at 1,000 feet.” The next and last message the ship received was simply, “We are running north and south.” Amelia Earhart was never heard from again.
The search that ensued was the longest and most extensive search undertaken by the U.S. Navy and Air Force at that time. On July 19, the U.S. government called off the search. They had spent $4 million and searched 250,000 square miles of sea. The country sadly ceded that Amelia was gone. These newspapers follow the search for Amelia. Many theories exist that shy away from the idea that she died searching for Howland Island, but it is accepted in history, that while there is no proof of her death, she perished at sea.