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Suzanne Scoggins, Director of Women's History

EarhartAnd EVE has been entrusted with the responsibility for making it happen.

I promised a couple of months ago that we had two very big announcements brewing, both of them related to Amelia Earhart. The first was the parade balloon, which is on schedule for a debut this fall.

The second announcement is this: the Governor of Kansas has just signed off on replacing the statue of John James Ingalls in Statuary Hall with a new statue of Amelia Earhart. EVE is named as the party responsible for raising the money and commissioning the statue.

I’ll just quote our press release:

August 23 — It’s official: Kansas will replace its statue of John James Ingalls in the U.S. Capitol with a new sculpture of famed aviator Amelia Earhart.

Ingalls has represented Kansas for more than a century in the National Statuary Hall Collection, which features two statues of illustrious citizens from each state. Amelia Earhart will become only the tenth woman to be honored with a statue in the collection.

Equal Visibility Everywhere (EVE), a national non-profit dedicated to achieving gender parity in the country’s symbols and icons, has been given responsibility for raising the funds for the statue and commissioning the artist.

The Kansas legislature passed a resolution in favor of the Earhart statue 11 years ago, when the state decided to update both of its representatives in Statuary Hall with more modern figures. The statue of George Glick was slated to be replaced by one of Dwight D. Eisenhower, while Amelia Earhart was chosen to replace John James Ingalls.

The Eisenhower sculpture was duly commissioned and installed in 2003. But plans for the Amelia Earhart statue went nowhere—until now.

Earlier this year, EVE approached officials in Kansas about taking on the Earhart project. The resulting statue replacement agreement was signed this month by Governor Mark Parkinson and delivered to the Architect of the Capitol in Washington.

The onus is now on EVE to raise the necessary funds for the statue and begin the process of choosing a sculptor.

“Amelia Earhart was one of the most inspiring women in American history,” says Dr. Lynette Long, president of EVE. “She’s still a role model for girls everywhere, and the prospect of having her in Statuary Hall is incredibly exciting. We are deeply honored to be entrusted with this responsibility. Everyone in Kansas has been wonderful.”

An open competition will be held for the statue’s design, with the winner chosen by a selection committee chaired by Dr. Long. The selection committee will also include representatives from the Governor’s office, the family of Amelia Earhart, the Atchison Chamber of Commerce (Earhart’s home town), the Amelia Earhart Festival, and the Amelia Earhart Birthplace Museum.

This is, needless to say, a big, big deal. Please bookmark our Kansas Statue Project page right now so you can follow along.

But lest you think we’re turning into the Amelia Earhart Society, rest assured that our other plans are continuing as well. We’re pushing for a statue of Harriet Tubman from Maryland, and expect to start working with lawmakers on that right after the fall election. We also have statue projects planned in Florida, New York, and California. Our street name project is moving fast on both coasts, with meetings and presentations before city councils. And a growing cadre of researchers are busy compiling data on heritage trails, monuments, stamps, and holidays.

Wanna join the party? Email us!

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2 Responses
  1. Beth Corbin says:

    Congratulations!

  2. David in Ohio says:

    There five articles also tell of this accomplishment:

    http://voices.washingtonpost.com/reliable-source/2010/08/amelia_earhart.html

    http://msmagazine.com/blog/blog/2010/08/23/newsflash-amelia-earhart-to-join-statuary-hall/

    http://primebuzz.kcstar.com/entries/earhart-lands-us-capitol/

    http://blogs.kansas.com/gov/2010/08/24/earhart-may-finally-land-in-u-s-capitol/

    http://www.newspressnow.com/news/2010/aug/24/earhart-statue-be-placed-us-capitol/