Amelia Earhart Festival, Atchison, Kansas

Hard to believe but true, I am at the Amelia Earhart Festival in Atchison, Kansas.

Amelia Earhart Birthplace Museum

The Amelia Earhart Festival is an annual event that celebrates not only Earhart’s flying career, but also the spirit of adventure she possessed and the determination that took her from Atchison to universal fame and admiration. This year the Festival is celebrating the 90th anniversary of Amelia being the first woman to fly solo, round-trip, across the United States and the first woman to fly across the Atlantic as a passenger.

The house on North Terrace in Atchison, KS where Amelia Earhart was born in 1897.

A week ago I had no idea that today I’d be climbing the staircase Amelia once climbed and seeing photos and memorabilia from her life. It was a remarkable experience – surely one of the highlights of this visit. The home is Gothic Revival and overlooks the Missouri River.

Oil painting of George Putnam and Amelia Earhart hangs in a parlor.

 

One of two identical stained glass windows in the dining room.

In Memory of LadiesLoveTaildraggers – Bethany Root

Last year, Bethany Root, the airport FBO manager at Amelia Earhart Airport at Atchison, and Vlado Lenoch died in an aircraft accident the day after the Amelia Earhart Festival ended. Vlado was flying his P51 named ‘Baby Duck’, Bethany was his passenger.

In addition to being the airport manager, Bethany was also a crop duster pilot. This is the Air Tractor she formerly flew, still in service at Amelia Earhart Airport.

This memorial to Bethany at the entrance to the FBO is the precursor to a much larger one scheduled for completion in downtown Atchison this September.

The International Forest of Friendship – a tree for every state and many countries.

The site, with its wide cement walkways set with individual markers, is a tribute to former and current aeronautical achievers. A sign at the entrance reads:

A BICENTENNIAL TRIBUTE FROM

MEMBERS OF THE INTERNATIONAL

NINETY-NINES AND THE CITIZENS OF

ATCHISON, KS.

A section of the sidewalk with the embedded markers

The Amelia Earhart bronze statue overlooks the site with Fay Wells pagoda in the background. The base of the statue reads “LET THERE BE PEACE ON EARTH AND LET IT BEGIN WITH ME”

Amelia Earhart Pioneering Achievement Award

At the Festival luncheon on Saturday, July 21, 2018, Jessica Cox will receive this year’s Amelia Earhart Pioneering Achievement Award. The award is ten thousand dollars which the recipient must donate to a cause of her choice.

Festival Coordinator Jacque Pregont and Festival Chair Karen Seaberg shared the announcement. “Our honoree must demonstrate triumph over adversity, reinforce the image of self-worth and self-confidence in young women, and demonstrate that for any woman, the sky is no longer the limit. We can’t imagine anyone fitting that criteria better than Jessica. Being a pilot is a wonderful additional connection to Amelia.”

Jessica Cox and her Ercoupe
Photo Credit: Eric Auxier

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