Famed aviator Amelia Earhart was born in Atchison, Kansas on July 24, 1897, and lived there until 1908, when her family moved to Des Moines.
Today Atchison honors its most famous hometown hero with a wide variety of attractions.
Those include the Amelia Earhart Birthplace Museum, a life-size statue of Earhart in the arboretum known as the International Forest of Friendship, and the annual Amelia Earhart Festival, held the third weekend of July.
Atchison is also home to the Amelia Earhart Earthwork, a one-acre portrait created by Kansas artist Stan Herd in 1997 using plants, stone, and other materials.
New: Amelia Earhart Hangar Museum
The general aviation airport in Atchison is, no surprise, called the Amelia Earhart Memorial Airport.
And it now sits adjacent to the Amelia Earhart Hangar Museum which will have its grand opening on April 14, 2023.
The museum centerpiece is the world’s last remaining Lockheed Electra 10-E airplane.
And this plane is named Muriel, in honor of Amelia Earhart’s younger sister, Grace Muriel.
The fully restored Lockheed Electra is identical to the plane Earhart and navigator Fred Noonan were flying in 1937 when they disappeared during their ill-fated attempt to fly around the world.
Surrounding the plane are 14 interactive STEM-inspired exhibit areas and activity stations. Visit them all and you’ll learn about Amelia Earhart of, course, but also some history, culture, science, technology, aviation, engineering, mathematics, and more.
Museum visitors can scroll through digitized images of Earhart’s mechanic logbooks, compare the inner working of airplane engines then and now, learn about celestial navigation, practice packing the plane, and squeeze into the full-scale replica of Muriel’s cockpit.
After listening to recordings of radio interviews with the real Amelia Earhart and watching an uncanny computer-generated Amelia Earhart video, museum visitors can try ‘being’ Amelia Earhart.
Museum admission includes a chance to fly Earhart’s red Lockheed Vega 5B in a virtual reality simulator. And the flight programmed includes the same route and challenges (bad weather, mechanical problems, etc.) Earhart faced during her 15-hour flight on May 20-21, 1932 when became the first woman to fly nonstop and alone across the Atlantic.
The Amelia Earhart Hangar Museum in Atchison, Kansas will have its grand opening on Friday, April 14.
(Read more about the museum in our story on Runway Girl Network).