Sepia tone headshot of Amelia Earhart in front of a sky background (background); Smith Archive/Alamy Stock Photo (Amelia Earhart)

Honoring a Legend

Scholastic Kids Press

Scholastic Kid Reporter Camille Fallen

A statue of famed pilot Amelia Earhart recently landed in the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. It’s one of 100 statues in the Capitol’s National Statuary Hall collection. 

The collection includes statues of two influential Americans from each state. Earhart’s statue represents Kansas, where she was born in 1897. (The state’s other statue honors Dwight D. Eisenhower, the 34th U.S. president.) When the Earhart statue was unveiled in July, she became one of only 11 women represented in the collection. 

REUTERS/Alamy Stock Photo

Her achievements in the air are legendary. Earhart first rode in a plane in 1920, and within a few years, her career as a pilot took off. In 1932, she became the first female pilot to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. Three years later, she became the first pilot, man or woman, to fly from Hawaii to California. 

But Earhart is best known for her ill-fated journey in 1937, when she tried to become the first woman to fly around the world. Her plane disappeared somewhere in the Pacific Ocean. What happened to the celebrated pilot remains one of history’s biggest unanswered questions.

Sharice Davids, a U.S. representative from Kansas, was one of several government leaders at the ceremony to unveil the statue. She noted that Earhart wasn’t only a record-setting pilot. She was also a nurse’s aide, a social worker, an author, and a leader in the fight for equal rights for women. 

“While Kansans have long thought of Amelia as our hero,” Davids said, “I cannot wait for the rest of the world to be reminded of her sense of courage, duty, and imagination as they walk the halls of our Capitol.”

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