In 2018, a peculiar condition phenomenon was observed on the helmet of Anne Morrow Lindbergh and it was removed from display for examination and conservation. An investigation into the cause of the condition issue is reviewed.
December 15, 2020 marks the 100th birthday of aviation ‘sheroes’, Bernice “Bee” Falk Haydu, a WWII Women Airforce Service Pilot (WASP), entrepreneurial aviator, and lifelong advocate for women military pilots. Happy birthday, Bee!
On this episode of AirSpace we’re spotlighting the heroic service and enduring legacy of the Women Airforce Service Pilots, or WASP. More than 1000 of these fearless women flew as civilians for the Army Air Forces during World War II. And we’ll hear firsthand from three women connected to the WASP legacy, including a WASP herself, Nell “Mickey” Bright.
Part of the fun of research is getting elbow deep into the original documents that make up the collections of the National Air and Space Museum Archives. But we also understand that it is difficult for many researchers to make in-person visits to the Archives at the Museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia. As an alternative, you can experience the NASM Archives (and other Smithsonian collections) anywhere through the Smithsonian Online Virtual Archives (SOVA)!
As an intern with the Aeronautics Department I had the chance to review and scan hundreds of color images from WWII. What particularly drew my attention were the images of women who served in the Navy’s reserve force, since at the time they were not allowed to serve their country through military enlistment to the same extent as men.
On August 18, 2020, the United States celebrates the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, which declared that the right to vote "shall not be denied...on account of sex." Several collections in the National Air and Space Museum Archives provide short stories along the long path of the women’s suffrage movement and the 19th Amendment.
Alverna Babbs challenged the Civil Aeronautics Administration in 1944 for a waiver to earn her student pilot’s license. The CAA was reluctant due to Babb’s disability—a double leg amputation at the age of 13 months. With her own persistence and the assistance of Roscoe Turner, Babbs earned her waiver and her full pilot’s license in 1946, the first person with a disability to do so (as documented in the previous blog in this series celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act). After remarrying and having children, Alverna Williams took a 30 year hiatus from flying. She returned to aviation in the 1970s, determined once again to take her place in the sky.
Thirty years ago, on July 26, 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act came into effect. This important civil rights law prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, including jobs, schools, transportation, and all public and private places that are open to the general public. Forty-six years earlier, without the protection of law and its accommodations, Alverna Babbs, who had lost both legs as a child, fought to receive a waiver for her student license. When she succeeded, she became the first American pilot with disabilities to earn a pilot’s license.