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The Stripes of D-Day

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  Seventy years ago, a formation of United States Army Air Forces Lockheed P-38 Lightning fighters was photographed as it roared over an unidentified foreign field. It’s hard to spot the familiar US insignia of the white star on a blue circle, but the black and white stripes the Lightnings wear stand out easily – which   …Continue Reading


In the Batter’s Box

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After a long, cold winter on the East Coast, spring is finally here and a new baseball season is about to start! Many teams have military nights, in which they invite active duty men and women to the ballpark to honor their service and enjoy the game. In 1956, officers of the Central Air Defense   …Continue Reading


Love is in the Air

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Aerial weddings may now be considered quite commonplace.  Just a quick online search turns up a number of places that provide skydiving services.  But in the nineteenth century, the idea of flying at all was still exciting.  Balloon weddings?  Those were spectacles! Mary West Jenkins and Dr. John F. Boyton intended to be married on   …Continue Reading


A Very Wellman Christmas

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If any snow falls in Washington, DC, locals scramble for their milk and toilet paper, turn up the heat, and hide under their blankets.  Imagine celebrating the Christmas holiday inside a hut 600 miles south of the North Pole!   In 1898, Walter Wellman led an attempt to reach the North Pole using ship and   …Continue Reading


Bring Me the Head of Alan Shepard: A Halloween Story

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While processing a National Air and Space Museum Archives photo collection, I came across this image—two men holding the wax head of astronaut Alan Shepard!   Although wax replicas are often used for creepy Halloween special effects, this wax model of Shepard’s head was made by the National Historical Wax Museum for realistic display purposes.    …Continue Reading