In today’s episode, Jody welcomes special guests Nicole McElhinney and Bronagh Sharkey from the Amelia Earhart Legacy Association of Derry.
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Amelia Earhart in Ireland
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(1:57) About the Amelia Earhart Legacy Association of Derry
Nicole McElhinney and Bronagh Sharkey from the Amelia Earhart Legacy Association of Derry join me on the podcast.
This podcast was recorded live at the Amelia Earhart Festival in Atchison, Kansas.
Learn more about the Amelia Earhart Festival.
A lot of people know about Amelia Earhart’s famous solo flight across the Atlantic in 1932, but might not know that she actually landed in Ireland!
People had never seen a woman in trousers, so they thought she was a boy when she got off the plane.
Tthe Amelia Earhart Legacy Association of Derry was formed in 2012.
Many people came to the first interest meeting in 2012 with stories of their family members and Amelia, and that’s when they realized there was a great interest.
There are six team members that volunteer for the Amelia Earhart Legacy Association of Derry. The association has no formal funding.
(6:08) Amelia’s Other Accomplishments
She was a social worker.
She was an author.
She taught at Purdue University.
She was a mechanic.
(6:25) The Mission of the Amelia Earhart Legacy Association of Derry
“To encourage girls to pursue careers in aviation, aeronautics, and aerospace through flight and aviation programs.”
(7:01) Amelia’s Flight to County Derry, Ireland
Amelia landed in a field just outside Derry (Londonderry) in Northern Ireland on her first solo flight across the Atlantic on May 20, 1932.
Her goal was to make it to Paris, but she was a little off course.
When she landed, there was no media there. They were all in France.
When she landed, the farmers were out tending to their field.
She came down and asked one of the farmers working the field, “Where am I?” He replied, “You’re in Gallagher’s field.” instead of telling her she was in Ireland.
Next she told him to put his cigarette out because she had aviation fluid all over herself, and it was dangerous to smoke around.
She went the next morning to make her press conference in the northern counties of Ireland.
Nobody had phones or cars, so they barely even knew she was there.
A lot of local hotels offered her a stay, but she insisted on staying with the Gallaghers.
(10:07) Finding Amelia Earhart’s Legacy in Derry
Most visitors will include a tour of the city walls, the Guildhall, and the Northern Counties Hotel where Amelia did her press conference.
There’s a big concrete cross on the spot where she landed. Over the years it had been covered so the group had to go in search of the site.
You can go visit the site and the Amelia Earhart Cottage nearby.
The Amelia Earhart Legacy Association of Derry is working in conjunction with another local group on developing an Amelia Earhart heritage trail.
The best way to plan your visit to Ireland to discover Amelia Earhart’s legacy is through the Facebook page for Amelia Earhart Legacy Association of Derry
(17:22) 3 Places to Visit – Derry Edition
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(19:10) Thanks for Listening!
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