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Category Archives: Archives

The Presidential Turkey Arrives by Air

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  Suitably clad in a custom-made flying suit and sporting a pair of goggles, President Warren G. Harding’s 1921 Thanksgiving turkey, the gift of the Harding Girls’ Club of Chicago, arrives at the College Park (Maryland) airport on a DH-4 mailplane. Note the rifle at the left of the photograph – why an armed escort   …Continue Reading


Life and Liquor at “Leftover” Field

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The Boeing B-29 Superfortress Enola Gay is one of the National Air and Space Museum’s most heralded artifacts, but a new addition to the National Air and Space Museum Archives Division’s collections provides a glimpse into the lives of the crew before they became worldwide names.  In May, the Archives accepted an accession of three   …Continue Reading


And Now, the Easter Balloon Bunny

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    In the early years of the 20th century, one of the ways that enthusiasm for all things aeronautical found expression were in colorful chromolithographic postcards, like this Easter postcard featuring an intrepid, though slightly nervous-looking, rabbit who takes to the sky onboard a festive aerial egg balloon. The card was mailed to one   …Continue Reading


The Santa Claus Express, Then and Now

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  In 1925, Mr. S. Claus was looking for a modern alternative to his old-fashioned reindeer-powered sleigh. Having once shown an interest in lighter-than-air flight in the form of hot-air balloons, Santa was favorably inclined when Goodyear came up with a solution — toy delivery via airship, in this case, Pilgrim I, renamed the Santa   …Continue Reading


A Poultry Pilot

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    Turkeys are generally  considered to be flightless birds, but as this postcard from the files of the Museum’s Archives Division vividly illustrates, they are capable of short hops, especially when at the controls of biplanes. If you’re flying to your Thanksgiving destination, bon voyage, and keep your eyes peeled for flying turkeys. Allan   …Continue Reading