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"Lone Woman"

The image is me in 1998 inside the Amelia Earhart Birthplace Museum, the home in Atchinson, Kansas, of Amelia Earhart's grandparents where she was born on, July 25, 1897 (next image). Tomorrow, July 27, 2022, a 10-foot bronze statue representing Amelia Earhart will be unveiled in the National Statuary Hall Collection, U.S. Capitol, upping the number of statues, out of 50, representing women to 11.* (Each state gets 2 statues. Kansas is replacing a former male politician with Amelia Earhart.) A celebrity and inspiration in her day—the late 1920s and throughout the 1930s, and even today—Amelia Earhart set many aviation records and received many honors. In 1932, she was the first woman aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean (14 hours 56 minutes). For that pioneering feat, Congress awarded her the Distinguished Flying Cross. The best-selling book she wrote about her trip, was titled—For the Fun of It.

Amelia Earhart continued setting records, including a solo nonstop flight from Mexico City to Newark, New Jersey (14 hours 19 minutes). In 1937, shortly before her fortieth birthday, Amelia Earhart and her navigator Fred Noonan disappeared on July 2 while she was attempting to be the first woman to fly around the world. “Planes and Ships Comb Pacific Area for Missing Amelia Earhart,” read the headline in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle on July 3. But to no avail, although investigations and searches continued for many years.

Amelia Earhart left behind a legacy of legendary aviation achievements, and, famously quotable, a plethora of pithy and practical words of wisdom. Here is a sampling: “Women must try to do things as men have tried. When they fail, their failure must be but a challenge to others.”; “Preparation, I have often said, is rightly two-thirds of any venture.”; “No kind action ever stops with itself. . . .The great work that kindness does to others is that it makes them kind themselves.”

Not surprisingly there are many landmarks honoring Amelia Earhart—from schools and roads to a massive crater on the moon, named “crater Earhart.” Here are images of some of the landmarks to her that I have visited and photographed: a bronze statue by David T. S. Jones based on a famous photograph in downtown Atchinson. Among the earliest landmarks, a monument, dedicated in 1932, near the train station in Harrison, New York. A plaque set in a stone monument located outside Meeteetse, Wyoming. A 7' tall statue by Ernest Shelton erected in 1971 in North Hollywood, California. Happily It was still gold painted when I saw it. In 2002, the statue was removed and recreated in bronze.

*The 11 women are: Mother Joseph (WA), Helen Keller (AL), Marie L. Sanford (MN), Sarah Winnemucca (NV), Frances Willard (IL), Florence Sabin (CO), Mary McLeod Bethune (FL) Esther Hobart Morris (WY), Sa Jeannette Rankin (MT), Amelia Earhart (KS), Sakakawea (ND)

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