National Air Museum Establishment Correspondence

The third Secretary of the Smithsonian, Samuel Langley, held a strong interest in aeronautics, astrophysics and astronomy. It is not surprising then that during Langley's 1887-1906 tenure the Institution began a concentrated effort to start collecting material on these subjects. The growing aviation collection was housed in different locations within the Smithsonian complex until 1946, when The National Air Museum (NAM) was created as a separate bureau of the Smithsonian Institution by Act of Congress, Public Law 722. Twenty years later the Museum's name was changed to the National Air and Space Museum (NASM) to reflect the need to document space topics.