Amelia Earhart statue headed to U.S. Capitol

WASHINGTON — A statue of legendary aviator Amelia Earhart is headed to Washington, D.C.

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According to the Kansas City Star, Congress will pay tribute to the pilot, who made history in 1932 as the first woman to complete a solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean, in a statue dedication ceremony July 27 at the National Statuary Hall in the U.S. Capitol.

U.S. Sens. Jerry Moran and Roger Marshall of Kansas, where Earhart was born in 1898, announced the event in a news release Monday, KWCH-TV reported.

“A bold and inspiring aviator, Amelia Earhart soared into the history books, setting flight records and breaking barriers,” Moran said in a statement. “She led the way for thousands of women to pursue their dreams – whether that was in aviation or to break their own, new barriers. Next month, the statue of Amelia Earhart will join President Dwight D. Eisenhower as bronze beacons representing Kansas in our nation’s capital.”

Marshall called Earhart “a true Kansas pioneer who exemplifies our state motto: Ad Astra Per Aspera – To The Stars with Difficulty,” according to the release.

The Capitol’s collection features 100 statues, including two from each state, the release said. Although Kansas was originally represented by statues of abolitionist Sen. John James Ingalls and former Gov. George Washington Glick, the state’s Legislature decided more than two decades ago to send figures of Eisenhower and Earhart instead, the Star reported. Eisenhower’s statue was unveiled in 2003, according to the newspaper.

A museum about Earhart, who vanished along with navigator Fred Noonan in 1937 while attempting to fly around the world, is slated to open next year in Atchison, where she was born, the Star reported.