Amelia Earhart statue unveiled in Atchison
Saturday was a bright sunny day in Atchison for the unveiling of the Amelia Earhart statue at the Amelia Earhart Hangar Museum.
Dignitaries from all over Kansas and the nation saw the unveiling of the twin bronze statue. The first statue is housed in the Hall of Fame in Washington, D.C.
Mayor Abby Bartlett welcomed the crowd that was seated in front of the Amelia Earhart Hangar Museum. Dr. John Eplee, Kansas Representative for the 63rd District gave the opening prayer.
President and Founder of the Atchison Amelia Earhart Foundation Karen Seaberg spoke about the journey of making the dream come true and the many people and companies who have been supportive along the way.
“Although it was a historic milestone to bring Amelia Earhart to the U.S. Capitol in July, we are especially thrilled to finally unveil this ‘twin’ bronze statue of Amelia in her beloved Atchison, Kansas, hometown,” Karen Seaberg, founder, and president of the Atchison Amelia Earhart Foundation said. “This magnificent statue will stand as an enduring symbol of Amelia’s pioneering legacy that will welcome and inspire future generations — especially the 150,00 middle school students within a 90-mile radius of Atchison — to explore aviation and aerospace careers through state-of-the-art STEM exhibits and interactive experiences in the Amelia Earhart Hangar Museum opening in 2023.”
Jacque Pregont, Chair of, the Statue Selection Committee, spoke about the artists of the statue and how the committee knew when they saw the drawing it was the one and selected the rendering. It was also decided that two identical statues would be sculpted, one for the airport and one that would stand in the Hall of Fame beside President Dwight D. Eisenhower, also a fellow Kansan.
After the unveiling remarks were heard from Governor Laura Kelly.
“How better to cement our state’s legacy as the Air Capitol of the World than with a statue at the museum that celebrates a woman who showed all of us what it means to “reach for the stars,” Kelly said. “I want to express my deepest appreciation for this museum and for this immortalization of an extraordinary individual who truly represents the best of the Kansas spirit.”
Governor Kelly also had a surprise for Karen Seaberg, a check for $5 million to be used for the museum.
“This great day in Atchison just got a whole lot better,” Pregont said with a smile after hearing the momentous announcements.
Born and raised in Atchison, Kansas, Earhart received her pilot license in 1923 and subsequently championed the advancement of women in aviation. She is one of the world’s most celebrated aviators and the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. Earhart was declared lost at sea when she disappeared over the Pacific Ocean in 1937.
Jake La Turner, United States Representative of the 2nd District of Kansas spoke about the importance of recognizing Amelia Earhart and how she is the best of both Kansas and the United States.
“She perfectly exemplifies the aspirations of Kansas,” La Turner said. “It’s why third and fourth-grade girls dress up like Amelia Earhart and have school projects about her. It’s because she represents this state and this country when we are at our very best.”
Alan Cobb, President, and CEO of the Kansas Chamber gave the benediction.