Plans to add a statue of groundbreaking aviator Amelia Earhart to the collection displayed at the United States Capitol became public this week. Earhart will be the 10th woman to be featured in statuary hall, where each state is allotted space for two of its citizens to be honored.
According to the Washington Post, Kansas voted in 1999 to replace their statues with new ones of Earhart and of Dwight D. Eisenhower. Previously, Kansas was represented by 19th century politicians from the state. The Eisenhower statue was installed in 2003, but the town of Atchison, Earhart's home town, was unable to raise the money necessary for the project.
Equal Visibility Everywhere (EVE), a group that works to feature more women in national iconology, lobbied for the installation of the statue. This month, Kansas Governor Mark Parkinson signed papers authorizing EVE to commission the statue and raise the required funds. Dr. Lynette Long, president of EVE, told the Washington Post, "We send subliminal messages to young girls that say, you don't matter...Everybody cries about sexism that is blatant, but the sins of omission no one notices." She also told Wichitopekington that "Amelia Earhart was one of the most inspiring women in American history...She's still a role model for girls everywhere, and the prospect of having her in Statuary Hall is incredibly exciting."
Media Resources: Wichitopekington 8/24/10; Washington Post 8/27/10
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