top of page

News & Events

Click below to read more

Who was Amelia? Get the Scoop (Part One)

Today, Amelia is one of the most well-known aviators and women of history. Not only did she set records in her lifetime and accomplish many other great things, but her disappearance is shrouded in mystery still today. Her legacy and the thrill of the unknown draw historians, researchers, enthusiasts, students, and overall curious individuals to her birthplace museum for knowledge and answers.

So who was Amelia Earhart anyways?

Well, she was a phenomenal person. But to truly understand her we have to start from the beginning. The very beginning! So let's dig in to her birth and early life.

Amelia was born in Atchison, Kansas July 24, 1897 to Edwin Stanton Earhart and Amy Otis Earhart.

"Where?," you may ask.

Atchison. It's a beautiful city right off the Missouri River with a bit over 10,000 people in population. It was the original terminus of the Atchison, Topeka, Santa Fe Railway. Which leads beautifully into Amelia's biography. Her father was a railroad attorney, specifically a claims agent, and they spent her early childhood in several difference towns since his job required a bit of travel. Atchison and Kansas City, Kansas and Des Moines, Iowa were some places she called home. However, the constant traveling meant that she, and her sister Muriel, spent most of her childhood in Atchison, KS at her grandparent's home (hint: this beautiful museum).

During the winter the children spent most of their time and spent the summers with their parents in Kansas City, KS. Alfred and Amelia Otis Earhart (the grandparents), were relatively well off financially. Alfred Otis was a retired US District Court judge and president of the Atchison Savings bank. He also served as chief warden of Trinity Episcopal Church.

Amelia and Muriel's parents every summer:

Photos are courtesy and part of Amelia Earhart Birthplace Museum

Amelia recalled that from an early age she recognized that boys got away with a lot more than girls did. Women were under societal constraints that reinforced daintiness. Women and girls were meant to behave in ladylike fashion with a genteel demeaner. Amelia, however, had a mind that could not be tamed by society. She was adventurous, curious, and fascinated by new people and places. She loved many different types of sports and games and often wanted to be a part of those that were typically for boys.

Her curious mind and thirst for knowledge and adventure began in her childhood and she continued to pursue and nurture that curiosity and wanderlust into her teens and, as we all know, an adult.

Next week, we will pick up with her teens and young adult life. I will be looking into some articles and books to review over the next few months. If you have any requests, please drop them below and I will look into them. If there is any other particular topic or question you want to see, also drop a line in the comments! I will do my best to answer or research whatever you bring me.


In 1916, Amelia went off to study at Ogontz School around the Philly, Pennsylvania area at the age of 19, however she only spent two years there. After she visited her sister Muriel in Toronto Canada, she was inspired and compelled to become a nurse' aide. She too a course from the Red Cross First Aid and enlisted at Spadina Military Hospital in Toronto where she tended to wounded soldiers during World War I. A year later, 1919, she enrolled as a paramedical student at Columbia University, New York until her parents insisted she move to California where they lived.


bottom of page