Monday, July 28, 2008

Amelia Earhart Birthplace Museum Refurbishment Takes Flight

BUSINESS WIRE --Renowned American Aviator Amelia Earhart is best known for her mysterious disappearance more than 70 years ago while attempting to circle the globe. Hampton® Hotels will remind the world of the greater legacy Earhart left on the aviation world as the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean by refurbishing her childhood home in Atchison, Kansas as part of its ongoing Save-A-Landmark® program. Earharts birthplace was purchased by the Ninety Nines, a non-profit group of female pilots formed by Earhart in 1984, and has enjoyed a second life as the official museum,, honoring her legacy.

The restoration effort is the third Save-A-Landmark project of 2008, and the 38th in the programs nine-year history. Dozens of volunteers from local Kansas and Missouri Hampton Hotels will work to clean, prime, paint and repair both the interior and exterior of the museum grounds. Additionally, helpers will install new stained glass windows and will replace the existing roof of Earharts childhood home. Hampton will contribute more than 40 volunteer hours towards ensuring the ongoing care of the national landmark.

Amelia Earhart was a brilliant aviator and paved the way for all future female pilots. Our hope is that visitors will be able to continue to celebrate the life and accomplishments of Amelia through the Museums refurbishment, said Judy Christa-Cathey, vice president of brand marketing for Hampton Hotels. July 24 would have been Amelias 111th birthday. What better way to honor her legacy than to restore the grounds where she was born?

Hampton Hotels Save-A-Landmark 2008 campaign aptly named Landmark Legends, is devoted to restoring sites that pay homage to prominent Americans. This years program kicked off in Memphis, honoring the 40th anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.s untimely passing with the refurbishment of the National Civil Rights Museum. Several other iconic locations such as the Barnum Museum and the Poe Museum will be refurbished in 2008 through Save-A-Landmark as well. The list of legendary figures was generated from a nationwide survey, conducted by Hampton Hotels, to celebrate the accomplishments of those Americans who have inspired change, overcome adversity and made a difference.

Those looking to discover other locations devoted to historic individuals or to possibly nominate their own Landmark Legend can visit the Save-A-Landmark site at and click on submit a landmark to enter a nomination for a legendary landmark or mail recommendations to c/o Save-A-Landmark to 8730 Sunset Blvd, 5th Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90069. Below is just a sample of heroic landmarks already included in the programs online database.

  • Jesse Owens Memorial Park, Danville, Ala.: This park honors Olympic great Jesse Owens, an Oakville native who won four gold medals in the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games, the first American and the second athlete in history to win four gold medals.
  • Jackie Robinson Birthplace, Cairo, Ga.: Born here on January 31, 1919 to sharecroppers and enslaved grandparents on what was once a plantation, Jackie Robinson the first African-American major league baseball player was just two years old when his mother packed up Jackie and his four siblings, hopped on a train and headed to California.
  • Hellen Keller Birthplace, Tuscumbia, Ala.: This small birthplace cottage was the site of the remarkable story of Helen Keller, the woman who was struck blind and deaf after becoming ill around the age of two. The home, called Ivy Green, eventually became the living quarters for Helen and her teacher, Anne Sullivan, whose huge teaching strides with Helen began by simply spelling out the word "water" in Helens hand as she pumped water over it.
  • Celia Cruz and Freedom Tower, Miami, Fla.: The Cuban songstress Celia Cruz, the Queen of Salsa, performed at Freedom Tower during a 2001 fundraiser to turn the site into a museum, and was later brought to the tower after her death so tens of thousands of mourners could pay their last respects to the legendary singer. Known as the Ellis Island of the Cuban community, Freedom Tower is where immigration officials processed more than 500,000 Cubans who fled the country in the 1960s.

Hamptons Save-A-Landmark program is continuing its ninth year preserving historical, fun and cultural landmarks, from the Carousel Gardens in New Orleans, La. to the historical National Monument to the Forefathers in Plymouth, Mass. During this time, the program has helped research landmarks in need, promoted landmark sites and their importance, facilitated thousands of volunteer hours, donated several tons of supplies and worked with matching grants all at an investment of more than $2.5 million. Uniting its hotels together in the communities they serve, Hampton employee-volunteers work hand-in-hand on the landmarks while Hampton provides the financial support to refurbish selected sites.

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