Amelia Earhart: A Pacific Legacy

Media Note
Washington, DC
March 20, 2012

Today, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood and Kiribati Foreign Secretary Tessie Lambourne joined NGO and private sector representatives to celebrate Amelia Earhart’s spirit of adventure and the United States’ ties with its Pacific neighbors.

The United States is a Pacific nation and the United States values the close, longstanding, friendship with its Pacific Island neighbors. The United States continues to work closely with the Pacific Island countries to address local and global challenges from climate change to poverty reduction, from education to national defense.

Secretary Clinton noted that it was fitting during National Women’s History Month to remember Amelia Earhart on the anniversary of her first attempt to circumnavigate the globe 75 years ago. Earhart’s extraordinary courage and vision epitomized American purpose at the time and continue to capture the public imagination today. Eleanor Roosevelt said, “She helped the cause of women by giving them a feeling that there was nothing they could not do.”

Along with other U.S. Government agencies, the Department of State played an important role in Ms. Earhart's 1937 expedition, working to secure visas and flight clearances. Earhart and her navigator Fred Noonan left the Territory of New Guinea (now Papua New Guinea) en route to Howland Island in the South Pacific on July 2nd, 1937, but they never arrived. Her disappearance led to an immense search that again involved the Department of State, as well as the Department of the Navy, which sent a flotilla of ships.

For decades, the search for Amelia Earhart has continued. On the 75th anniversary of Earhart’s last journey, she continues to inspire imagination and optimism, and her journey is a reminder of the strategic and historic ties the United States has in the Pacific.

PRN: 2012/414