From the Archives

Sat, July 14 2018

The Grave of Quentin Roosevelt

On July 14, 1918, Quentin Roosevelt, son of President Theodore Roosevelt, died outside of Chamery, France, his Nieuport 28 shot down by a German pilot. To American aviators and soldiers, the grave of Quentin Roosevelt became a shrine, his death a touchstone for service and sacrifice, appearing in many World War I era scrapbooks and collections held by the National Air and Space Museum Archives.

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Soldier Views Grave of Quentin Roosevelt, Chamery, France
Mon, June 25 2018

Armistice and Peace: Victory Letters from WWI

Letters home from the front reveal the personal side of wars.  On Armistice Day, November 11, 1918, marking the end of World War I, many American soliders serving abroad were instructed to write victory letters to their fathers. As we move towards the celebration of the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day, a pair of victory letters from France and Connecticut illustrate a different understanding between home and the front, armistice and peace. 

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Portrait of Harold F. Pierce, September 1918
Thu, April 19 2018

An Aviation Pioneer's Life in Documents

The personal papers of William J. Powell, an early African American aviation pioneer, highlight his career with the American Expeditionary Forces and his work to support African Americans in aviation.

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William J. Powell
Thu, April 5 2018

"Nice Guys" Fly Charter

While the baseball season technically started last week, it doesn’t return to the nation’s capital until Thursday, April 5—the home opener for the Washington Nationals.  Most likely, the team will be returning to Washington, DC, from Atlanta on a chartered flight.

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Leo Durocher in American Airlines "Flagship Brooklyn"
Thu, December 21 2017

An Aviation Christmas Card Carol

‘Tis the season for holiday cards.  Many cards feature photos of families and pets dressed in festive (maybe even matching) outfits.  Aviators, on the other hand, celebrate their airplanes! The many collections in the National Air and Space Museum Archives are filled with enough cards to last well beyond the 12 days of Christmas.

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G.M. Bellanca Christmas Card
Mon, November 13 2017

Benjamin O. Davis’s Thanksgiving Turkey in Taipei

As the Thanksgiving holiday approaches, many members of the United States military are stationed overseas, far from home.  In November 1956, Brig. Gen. Benjamin O. Davis Jr. and his wife Agatha sat down to a Thanksgiving turkey in Taipei, Taiwan, provided by an unusual source—the Vice President of the Republic of China (Taiwan).

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Brigadier General Benjamin O. Davis, Jr. and Wife, Agatha, at Taipei Air Force Officers’ Wives Club Event
Wed, August 16 2017

World War I Through the Eyes of Paul Stockton

While the National Air and Space Museum Archives collections feature many WWI materials, the Paul R. Stockton Scrapbook is available to view online in its entirety in slideshow mode.  Stockton documented his experiences from training at Mineola, New York, and the Third Aviation Instruction Center, Issoudun, France, to life at the front in France, to the post-war occupation of Germany.

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Paul R. Stockton FAI Pilot's License
Tue, June 20 2017

Our Favorite Sports Stories for #sportsMW

What do baseball, hockey, and football have in common? Hint: It’s more than just the roar of the crowd or competitive all-star athletes. Each sporting event has some connection to aviation and spaceflight—yes, spaceflight. Our intrepid archivist, Elizabeth Borja, has been exploring this connection for years. Whether it’s the testing of spacesuits at a baseball game or the New York Yankees flying on a Douglas DC-4, Borja has uncovered surprising sports stories filed away in the Museum’s Archives. Here are our five, all-time-favorite stories in honor of today’s #MuseumWeek theme: sports (#sportsMW).

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New York Yankees Baseball Team
Tue, February 28 2017

African American Pioneer Dale White and the 1939 Goodwill Flight

In 1939, Dale L. White Sr., a prominent African American pilot, set out on a "Goodwill Flight" from Chicago to Washington, DC, to make the case for African American participation in flight training, both civilian and military. His flight illustrated the challenges that African Americans faced in reaching equality—White was welcomed in Sherwood, Ohio, but was not permitted to land in Morgantown, West Virginia. Nearly 10 years later In 1948, President Truman integrated the armed services by presidential order.

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Portrait of Dale L. White
Sat, February 4 2017

Baltimore Stadium’s Super Grand Opening

On Sunday, February 5, Super Bowl LI television broadcasts will feature aerial images of NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas. Snoopy One may not have been hovering over Baltimore Stadium (also called Venable Stadium) for the 1922 Army-Marine football game, but photographer H.C. Robinson captured an aerial photograph of the stadium’s inaugural event from 549 meters (1,800 feet) above.

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Baltimore Stadium, 1922, Army-Marine Football Game

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