Pioneering aviator and cultural icon Amelia Earhart captured the imagination of multiple generations. While she is perhaps most famous for her mysterious disappearance now, she was a well-known and accomplished personality in her own time, friends with the likes of Bing Crosby and Eleanor Roosevelt. She set or broke several aviation records, cheered on the accomplishments of other pilots, and did her part to stir the public’s awareness and interest in the art of flight.
The Amelia Earhart Birthplace Museum and the Amelia Earhart Hangar Museum, located in her birthplace of Atchison, Kansas, both work diligently to preserve her legacy. The birthplace museum, owned and operated by the Ninety-Nines—an organization Earhart served as its first president—steeps visitors in the early years of her development and emergence of her adventurous spirit years before she stepped into a cockpit. The hangar museum at Amelia Earhart Airport (K59) guides visitors on an immersive experience highlighting her personal history and the science behind her accomplishments.
“Throughout the grade school period, which was mostly spent in Atchison, I remember having a very good time. There were regular games and school and mud-ball fights, picnics, and exploring raids up and down the bluffs of the Missouri River. The few sandstone caves in that part of the country added so much to our fervor that exploring became a rage.”
— Earhart from her book, The Fun of It
To see how young Earhart’s imagination took wing, one needs only visit her childhood bedroom and take a look out of the window. The house at 223 North Terrace is a Gothic Revival perched atop the Missouri River’s stately bluffs. Young Amelia’s room is an aerie with an unimpeded view overlooking the “Big Muddy’s” valley and the blue line of bluffs miles away in neighboring Missouri.
The house was built by Earhart’s grandparents, Alfred and Amelia (Harres) Otis, in 1861, and she was…