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75 years after her disappearance, Amelia Earhart attracts interest in her hometown (+video)

Amelia Earhart anniversary: Atchison, Kan., sees interest spike in Amelia Earhart, who was born there, as a search begins for her plane 75 years after her disappearance over the Pacific.

Seventy-five years ago, Americans learned that Amelia Earhart was missing. Now, the 10th expedition searching for that aircraft is about to take off. Lee Cowan reports.
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Interest in aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart is high in her birthplace, Atchison, on the 75th anniversary of her disappearance.

The St. Joseph News-Press reported that visitors have been flocking to the city, 45 miles northwest of Kansas City.

One popular destination is the Amelia Earhart Birthplace Museum, at the home where Earhart was born in an upstairs bedroom in 1897 and where she spent much of her first 12 years.

Helping to fuel the flow of visitors are renewed efforts to learn what happened to Earhart and navigator Fred Noonan on July 2, 1937. They disappeared while flying from New Guinea to Howland Island as part of the adventurer's attempt to become the first female pilot to circumnavigate the globe.

"We like to stress her accomplishments rather than her disappearance," said Louise Foudray, who serves as caretaker and historian of the Amelia Earhart Birthplace Museum. "However, everyone loves a mystery."

In April, researchers announced that enhanced analysis of a photograph taken months after her Lockheed Electra plane vanished shows what may be the landing gear of the aircraft protruding from the waters off the remote island of Nikumaroro, in what is now the Pacific nation of Kiribati. Historians, scientists and salvagers from The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery, spurred by this discovery, were to begin a search attempt in that area Monday.

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