Amelia Earhart in Hawaii

The famous aviator has a permanent home in Hawaii now, thanks to an exhibit of rare photos. Rather than a formal pose in front of her plane, these photos show a relaxed and playful Amelia Earhart enjoying her time in the islands.

Amelia Earhart with Duke Kahanamoku

The photos belong to the Matson Navigation Company, but have been given to the Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor for a permanent display. The display opened on July 24, 2011 with a celebration of Earhart’s 114th birthday. The photos document her time in Hawaii from December 27, 1934 to January 11, 1935 when Earhart vacationed and prepared for her solo flight across the Pacific from Honolulu to Oakland, California. She was the first person to make the flight solo. Some photos are from a later visit March 17-20 of 1937. On June first of that year, Earhart took off on her final flight, an attempt to be the first woman to fly around the world. A month later, her plane was lost in the Pacific.

I had the opportunity to see many of these photos when they were on display last summer in the lobby of the Royal Hawaiian Hotel. At the time, I tried to find out if they would be accessible after the display ended. It seemed such a loss to have them return to the archives. I am very happy the photos have found a permanent home so that Hawaii visitors can see them and see Amelia when she was as they now are – relaxing on a Hawaii vacation.

Not only have the photos found a permanent home in the Pacific Aviation Museum, they are surrounded by airplanes of all sorts. Aviation was a life-long passion of Earhart and I think she would be comfortable “hanging” out with the historic aircraft on display alongside her photos.

Post updated July 24, the day the exhibit opened to the public.

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