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Local Earhart experts to make transatlantic trek to Ireland

Amelia Earhart lands in Derry, Northern Ireland, on May 21, 1932.
Amelia Earhart lands in Derry, Northern Ireland, on May 21, 1932.(Amelia Earhart Hangar Museum)
Published: May. 11, 2022 at 12:54 PM CDT
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ATCHISON, Kan. (WIBW) - Leaders from Atchison’s new Amelia Earhart Hangar Museum will make the same transatlantic flight she did - which put her on the map - to Derry, Northern Ireland, to celebrate the 90th anniversary of the trip.

“We are honored to return to Derry for this extraordinary 90thanniversary celebration hosted by our transatlantic partners at the Amelia Earhart Legacy Association in Derry. We share a commitment to preserve Earhart’s legacy to defy the odds and pursue her dreams that changed aviation forever,” said Karen Seaberg, founder and president of the Amelia Earhart Hangar Museum in Atchison, Kan. — where Earhart’s dream of flight began. The new state-of-the-art STEM and history museum, opening in 2023, will immerse visitors in Earhart’s pioneering life. Highly interactive exhibits will feature an opportunity to pilot a virtual reality recreation of Earhart’s 1932 transatlantic flight with challenges mirroring obstacles Earhart overcame to land in Derry.

The 90th anniversary of Earhart’s historic solo flight across the Atlantic will be a transatlantic celebration in Northern Ireland where she unexpectedly landed on May 21, 1932.

Between May 20 and 21, leaders from the museum said they will travel to Derry for a celebration of the flight that changed aviation forever and made Earhart one of the most inspiring women in history.

“When Amelia landed in Derry, no one had ever seen a woman driving a car, let alone flying an airplane or wearing trousers. Her fearless spirit was revolutionary, particularly for women,” said Nicole McElhinney, co-founder of the Amelia Earhart Legacy Association in Derry.

Events throughout Derry will include the Ameilia Earhart STEM Challenge with the Royal Academy of Engineering at Ulster University. A model airplane challenge for public schools in Northern Ireland organized by Clare Doherty - the great-great-granddaughter of Robert Gallagher, owner of the farm where Earhart unexpectedly landed - will also commemorate the event.

On May 20, 1932, the Museum said Earhart set off in her red Lockheed Vega from Harbour Grace in Newfoundland, Canada, with the intention to fly to Paris. With weather and technical issues altering her course, it said Earhart landed on May 21, 1932, on Gallagher’s farm in Ballyarnett in Derry.

The Museum noted that in May, Atchison Mayor Abby Bartlett issued a proclamation to recognize Atchison, Kan., in the U.S., and Derry in Northern Ireland as “bonded by their ties to Amelia Earhart’s beginnings and monumental accomplishments.” It said the proclamation acknowledges the towns’ mutual “dedication to honor and recognize the contributions made by Amelia Earhart in aeronautics and to educate and share with others the history and courageous exploits of Amelia Earhart.”

“Amelia faced many obstacles, but she persevered and believed in her dream of flight,” Seaberg added. “With our partners across the Atlantic, we’re committed to sharing Amelia’s story of tenacity and courage to inspire future generations — in Kansas, in Derry and around the globe.”

For more information about the Amelia Earhart Hangar Museum, click HERE.

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