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Amelia's choice
Earhart statue to be placed in Capitol
new slt Earhart
Ann Birney portrays Amelia Earhart. This reenactor of the historic aviator visited Great Bend schools in 2016.

U.S. Senators Jerry Moran and Roger Marshall, M.D. announced on Monday that the Architect of the Capitol approved the placement of Amelia Earhart’s statue in the U.S. Capitol. The Congressional Statue Dedication Ceremony will take place on July 27. 

“The statue of Amelia Earhart – the most famous woman in aviation and in Kansas history – will officially be placed in the United States Capitol,” said Sen. Moran. “A bold and inspiring aviator, Amelia Earhart soared into the history books, setting flight records and breaking barriers. She led the way for thousands of women to pursue their dreams – whether that was in aviation or to break their own, new barriers. (This) month, the statue of Amelia Earhart will join President Dwight D. Eisenhower as bronze beacons representing Kansas in our nation’s capital. I want to thank the Atchison Amelia Earhart Foundation, the Earhart family and the City of Atchison for their persistent work to bring Amelia to the Capitol.”

“Amelia Earhart was a true Kansas pioneer who exemplifies our state motto: Ad Astra Per Aspera – To The Stars with Difficulty,” said Marshall.

The National Statuary Hall Collection consists of 100 statues – two contributed by each state –  placed throughout the U.S. Capitol. Kansas first sent marble statues of U.S. Sen. John James Ingalls and Kansas Governor George Washington Glick to the U.S. Capitol. The Kansas State Legislature voted in 1999 to replace the two statues with President Dwight D. Eisenhower and Amelia Earhart. 

“It is fitting that Earhart replaces John James Ingalls’ statue in our Nation’s capitol – who in 1861 as Secretary of the state senate added this motto to the Kansas state seal,” Marshall said. “Ingalls’ vision for Kansas comes to fruition in Amelia Earhart’s courageous spirit. Today, Kansas is known as the Air Capitol of the World and the placement of the Earhart Statue in our nation’s capital furthers our commitment to that industry. As the birthplace of Earhart, we commend the city of Atchison and its leaders who worked diligently to make this statue possible. We all look forward to the opening of the Amelia Earhart Hanger Museum in 2023 which will hold an identical statue at home in our state.”

“Guided by Amelia’s legacy of perseverance, we are excited to finally bring Earhart’s statue to National Statuary Hall to honor her enduring impact as a world-renown American aviator and advocate for women’s equal rights,” said Jacque Pregont, chair of the Amelia Earhart Statuary Hall Selection Committee and board member of the Atchison Amelia Earhart Foundation. “Amelia’s statue will stand as an inspiring symbol – particularly for women and girls – to boldly pursue their dreams.”

Let’s hope that Kansas can continue to stand for such a positive message — empowering its citizens to choose their own paths, perhaps to reach the stars.