African American Pioneers

Heritage Family Day Series

Museum Explainer with Young Visitor

Each February, the Museum celebrates the significant contributions African Americans have made to flight and space exploration despite the overwhelming obstacles they had to overcome. Visitors enjoy presentations, hands-on activities, and stories, and may have the opportunity to meet astronauts, fighter pilots, and others who will share stories of their challenges and accomplishments. They also learn about inspiring historic figures like Bessie Coleman through reenactments or story times.

Join us for other upcoming Heritage Family Days

This program is made possible through the generous support of Northrop Grumman Corporation.

Family Day

African American Pioneers in Aviation and Space
Saturday, February 20, 2016
10:00 am to 3:00 pm
Throughout the Museum in Washington, DC
Admission: Free


Conversations with Tuskegee Airmen
A presentation from Documented Original Tuskegee Airmen of the East Coast Chapter who served during or right after World War II.
In America by Air 
11:00 am 

Flights of Fancy Story Time
Nobody Owns the Sky: The Story of “Brave Bessie” Coleman by Reeve Lindbergh
In the Barron Hilton Pioneers of Flight Gallery
11:00 am and 1:30 pm

Meet NASA Astronaut, Stephanie Wilson
In Moving Beyond Earth
11:30 am and 1:30 pm

Tevin and the Tuskegee Airmen
A puppet show presentation  by Master Puppeteer Schroder Cherry
In the Barron Hilton Pioneers of Flight Gallery
11:45 am and 2:15 pm

Triple Nickles 
A presentation from members of the Triple Nickles about the first all-African American Parachute Infantry Battalion who, during World War II, were trained by the US Forest Service to be Smoke Jumpers and were sent to the Pacific Northwest where they fought fires set by Japanese fire bombs.   
In America by Air
1:00 pm 



1939 “Goodwill Flight” Presentation by the National Air and Space Museum Archives
Learn about the Dale L. White Sr. Papers, which detail the aviation career of this prominent African American pilot who flew the 1939 “Goodwill Flight” from Chicago to Washington, DC, to lobby for African Americans to be allowed to join the US Army Air Corps.

Crash Investigation
Learn about the crash investigation process by representative of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).

Check out a simulator provided by Patriots Technology Training Center


Complete a “Flight Plan” by completing in hands-on activities and collecting playing cards to earn a Tuskegee Airmen Congressional Gold “Medal.”


Create Your Own Escape and Evasion Map
In America by Air

Build a Mini P-51 Mustang
In America by Air

Design Build Test: Parachutes
In Looking at Earth

Design as Astronaut Mission Patch
In Apollo to the Moon

Make a NASA Space Medal
In Apollo to the Moon

Astronaut Dress-Up Photo Op for All Ages
In Apollo to the Moon

Design a Squadron Badge
In Barron Hilton Pioneers of Flight Gallery

Make a Tuskegee Airment Medal
In Barron Hilton Pioneers of Flight Gallery

Fashion Aviator Goggles
In Barron Hilton Pioneers of Flight Gallery

Driving directions to the Museum in Washington, DC
Museum Floorplan

NASA Astronaut Stephanie Wilson

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