Q: In July of 1963, the U.S. Postal Service issued a new, 8-cent stamp honoring a Kansan. Do you know who?
A: Amelia Earhart
On July 24, 1963, the U.S. Postal Service issued a new, 8-cent stamp featuring the famous flyer from Atchison, Amelia Earhart, the “First Woman in Flight.” Earhart set a number of world aviation records in the 1930s. In 1932, she soloed across the Atlantic Ocean in her plane, Friendship. In 1935, Earhart conquered the Pacific Ocean from Hawaii to California. In 1937, she began a 27,000-mile around-the-world flight. Fred Noonan was her navigator, and by late June, they had completed the next-to-last leg of their journey. In July, radio contact with her plane was lost, and neither the bodies nor Earhart's plane were ever found. To this day, their fate remains a mystery. Now, another famous Kansan -- deep sea explorer and Wichita native Bob Ballard -- is trying to find a definitive answer to what happened to Earhart, Noonan and their silver, Lockheed Electra 10E airplane. Ballard, perhaps best known for discovering the Titanic (and many other ships lost at sea), recently spoke at Atchison High School to talk about his current mission aboard his research vessel, EV Nautilus (Exploration Vehicle Nautilus). His crew is searching the Pacific, trying to find more clues to Earhart's disappearance. Ballard feels optimistic Earhart's plane will eventually be found.