The opening of the National Air and Space Museum on July 1, 1976 was one of the highlights of America's Bicentennial Celebration. At the ribbon cutting, President Gerald Ford called the Museum "a perfect birthday present from the American people to themselves."
Now, 35 years later, the Museum is one of the most popular in the world. This distinction has grown since the 2003 opening of a companion facility, the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, which quickly became the most visited museum in Virginia. Together, the two locations have created lasting memories for nearly 310 million visitors.
We hope you will enjoy the photos, history, and memories on this 35th Anniversary website and will contribute your favorite Museum memory below.
America's hangar! How fantastic, proud and inspirational it is to be where our aviation history is sheltered and displayed. I have spent many hours discovering exhibits and artifacts and learning something new about them on every visit. This Museum has inspired me from the very beginning of my journey in aviation. Happy Anniversary National Air and Space Museum!
~ Patty Wagstaff
Award winning acrobatic pilot
Over three decades preserving a legacy of dreams. That is what the 35th Anniversary means to me.
~ Gene Cernan
Apollo 17 astronaut
last man to walk on the Moon