As Viva Cuba members travel, we often notice that it really is a small world. One of our members recently noticed a Cuba connection during a visit to Riverside, California.
What do Cuba, Missouri and Riverside, California have in common? Both towns enjoyed visits from two famous women, Amelia Earhart and Bette Davis.
Earhart and Davis are depicted on large outdoor murals along the Route 66 corridor, commemorating their stopovers in Cuba, Missouri.
Earhart made an emergency landing in a field near Cuba, Missouri on September 4, 1928. Finding no damage to her plane, she continued her journey to Muskogee, Oklahoma.
Cuba’s and Earhart’s destinies met in 1928.
The Mission Inn, a beautiful hotel in Riverside, California boasts two noteworthy pictures of the celebrities that can be seen at the Mission Inn Museum.
This Amelia Earhart photo at the Mission Inn in Riverside, California features a visit from Amelia Earhart.
The first picture shows DeWitt Hutchings, son-in-law of the builder of the Mission Inn Frank Miller, visiting with Amelia Earhart and the Mission’s pet macaws, Joseph and Napoleon on February 3, 1936. She was honored in a ceremony held at the Mission Inn. The following year, in 1937, Earhart, along with her navigator vanished over the Pacific Ocean when they attempted the first flight around the world.
Just as Cuba does, the Mission Inn Museum provides a lesson plan for local students on the famed aviatrix. Their lesson plans are for third graders while Viva Cuba’s are for fourth graders to coincide with their spring Missouri History Month. View one of our resulting fourth grader mural tours here. You will see Cuba’s version of Amelia Earhart.
Both communities also have a connection to the famed Academy Award winning actress Bette Davis.
Actress Bette Davis, whose real name was Ruth Elizabeth Davis, was married on November 30, 1945, to William Grant Sherry in the St. Francis Chapel at the Mission Inn. Read more about it on the museum’s website.
Bette Davis was married at the Mission Inn in 1945.
Three years later, in 1948, she visited Cuba, Missouri where she dined at the Southern Hotel. Read about it here. Her visit is depicted in a mural on the Cuba Free Press building along Route 66.
The Bette Davis mural depicts her visit to Cuba, MO in the 1940s.
Yes, it’s a small world. If you haven’t visited Cuba, stop by sometime and visit. And bring your camera.