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Category Archives: Stories

My Cuban Missile Crisis

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  Growing up in the Washington, D.C. area during the 1960s was… interesting – History would have a way of occasionally butting into an otherwise typical suburban boyhood. The memory of John F. Kennedy’s inauguration comes back to me in a Proustian sort of way through the taste of hot chocolate, which my father administered   …Continue Reading


Hollywood’s Representation of Naval Aviation: Frank W. “Spig” Wead and John Ford’s “The Wings of Eagles” (1957)

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Introduction During the recently completed centennial of naval aviation (2011), there were many and varied tributes to the factual history of naval aviation. Nevertheless, we cannot forget that public perception of the armed forces is also a strong historical consideration. In Sailing on the Silver Screen: Hollywood and the U.S. Navy, Lawrence Suid has observed   …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


The Rutan Voyager

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Twenty-five years ago, the staff of the National Air and Space Museum held its collective breath for nine days as a seemingly fragile, flying fuel tank made its way across oceans and continents in an attempt to become the first aircraft to fly around the world non-stop and unrefueled. The odd-looking bird had departed Edwards   …Continue Reading


The Museum’s Pearl Harbor Survivor

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In American military history there are few dates more familiar than “December 7th, 1941… a date which will live in infamy…” The Japanese attack at Pearl Harbor on that serene Sunday morning marked America’s official entry into a global war that had been raging in Europe and throughout Asia for many years. Yet after the raid had   …Continue Reading