Kansas native Amelia Earhart is about to join one of the most exclusive clubs of notable Americans as she’s honored with a ten-foot bronze statue in the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, July 27.
Earhart, who was from Atchinson, will be the eleventh woman represented among one hundred statues in National Statuary Hall. The collection was established by Congress in 1864 decades before women had the right to vote—and her addition is characterized as “overdue” by Karen Seaberg, founder and president of the Atchison Amelia Earhart Foundation.
“The new Amelia Earhart statue will stand as a symbol of her determination, tenacity and courage that will inspire future generations—particularly women and girls,” Seaberg said via news release.
Seaberg and Jacque Pregont, chair of the Amelia Earhart Statuary Hall Selection Committee, have both been leading the charge on this statue project since 2013. Achieving success now feels particularly poignant since this year marks 90 years since Earhart became the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean, and 125 years since her birth in Atchison, Kansas, on July 24.
Earhart is beloved for her contributions to aviation and women’s rights. The Foundation wants “to honor her enduring influence as a pioneering American aviator who passionately championed equal opportunity for all, regardless of gender,” said Pregont via news release. “Her fearless spirit was revolutionary, and her trailblazing life continues to be remarkably relevant today.”
The sculpting team George and Mark Lundeen are responsible for bringing this bronze “Amelia” to life. Said George, “We enjoyed conducting extensive research and we’re fortunate to have access to the many photos and videos of Amelia, which we haven’t typically had for historical figures, along with the invaluable insights from the Earhart family.”
Seaberg notes that “though she disappeared on her flight around the world, Amelia Earheart did not leave a tragic legacy. Instead, her story is one of daring, bravery and perseverance. Her life and legacy continue to inspire people across the U.S.—and around the globe—to courageously pursue their dreams.”
The unveiling will be live streamed here at 11 am ET on Wednesday, July 27.