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Council outlines plans to mark 90th anniversary of Amelia Earhart landing

13 October 2021
Members of Derry City and Strabane District Council’s Business and Culture Committee today approved details of the Council’s plans to mark the 90th anniversary of the landing of Amelia Earhart in Ballyarnett on 21 May 2022.
 
The 21 May 2022 will mark the 90th anniversary of her historic landing in Gallagher’s field at Ballyarnett. In  June 2011, Council passed a notice of motion congratulating local groups in ensuring that the legacy of Amelia Earhart’s landing is remembered and celebrated and calling for Council to work with interested groups to appropriately mark the occasion.
Aeidin McCarter, Head of Culture with Derry City and Strabane District Council explained that the Council’s Museum Service continues to promote and highlight the important aviation story of Amelia Earhart through its collections, exhibitions and events.
 
She said: “The story of Amelia Earhart is told in the Tower Museum, as part of the ‘Story of Derry’ exhibition, alongside a number of objects, mainly on loan from private collectors. A model of her Lockheed Vega is on display in the City of Derry Airport. In 2017 the Amelia Earhart Legacy Association launched their plans to celebrate the 85th Anniversary of Amelia Earhart’s landing at Ballyarnett. The Museum Service supported these plans by the loan of artefacts to the Association and the set-up of an exhibition in the Guildhall on Sun 21 May 2017.
 
“On the 1 December 2019 this group organized as part of a Mayoral event to unveil a plaque dedicated to Amelia Earhart on the former Northern Counties Building. This was followed by a Mayoral reception in the Guildhall. More recently, she has also been celebrated during RTE’s HerStory events (2020) which celebrates the role of females in history, Images of Amelia Earhart, Aviator & Explorer, was projected onto the exterior of the Tower Museum.  In 2021 a bespoke Amelia Earhart signature tourism story was set up  in the new Visit Derry Tourist Office at Waterloo Place. This positioning firmly puts the story of Amelia Earhart and her connections to the city right at the heart of our tourism & heritage offer.”
 
Looking ahead Aeidin McCarter explained that the  Museum Service planned programme of activity May 2022 for the 90th anniversary will include a  temporary exhibition of objects and archives loaned and from the collection to go on display in the Learning Space of the Tower Museum, for the month of May 2022. She added that a series of onsite/online (depending on restrictions and participants) lectures linked to females in aviation, Amelia’s story and objects linked to the history, will also be organised as well as a series of online/onsite educational workshops for school and families to include aviation themed activities.
 
She added that Council officers are working with a number of groups to coordinate a comprehensive programme of activities under one marketing plan and that costs  for the Council’s  Museum events will be provided by the annual museum programming budget and the wider marketing co-ordination can be accommodated within the existing marketing resource and budget.
 
Chairperson of the Business and Culture Committee Cllr Conor Heaney welcoming the collaborative approach, said it was important to acknowledge this important anniversary.