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Tag Archives: animals

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


The Critter Files

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Museum intern Thomas Paone’s fascinating post on the funeral of Skippy, mascot of Navy Hedron 12, reminded me of my surprise – and delight – when I  started finding a surprising number of photographs of animals in the  files of the Museum archives. I had recently joined the National Air and Space Museum, and I   …Continue Reading


Hidden Gems

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It is hard to imagine how one can find anything amongst the thousands of photographs located at the National Archives in College Park, Maryland.  In many cases, these are buried deep within a box containing hundreds that have no relation whatsoever to your topic.  These expeditions, however, can sometimes offer up hidden gems.  While hunting   …Continue Reading


Able and Baker

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Baker, a squirrel monkey, perches on a model of the Jupiter missile that launched her into space on a sub-orbital flight, along with a rhesus monkey named Able, on May 28, 1959 – fifty years ago.  Fruit fly larva and sea urchin eggs also accompanied Able and Baker, who both survived the flight; Able, though,   …Continue Reading