Evolution of Flight: A Recommended Resource

From the hot air balloons of yesteryear to the commercial airline carriers of today, mankind has always been fascinated by the concept of flight. Public interest in aviation peaked during the twentieth century, leading to rapid development of its corresponding technology. From this period of fervent focus emerged the celebrated pioneers of aviation:  Charles Lindbergh, Amelia Earhart, Howard Hughes, Wiley Post, Jimmy Doolittle, Chuck Yeager, and many others, who forever changed the way humans interact with the world. Their theories, feats, and record-breaking efforts are all captured in Evolution of Flight, 1784-1991.


Drawing from the treasure trove of images, diaries, correspondence, scrapbooks, government documents, and other primary source materials available within the National Air and Space Museum Archives, the National Air and Space Museum Library, the Smithsonian Archives, and Smithsonian Libraries, this newest collection in the Smithsonian Collections Online series offers unparalleled insight into the era of aviation and its lasting impact on today’s society with content that spans more than two centuries, 1784-1991.


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Commemorating VE Day with the Smithsonian

By Jennifer Albers-Smith

This Friday marks the 70th anniversary of Victory in Europe (VE) day.

My grandpa was hardly more than a boy when his brother (my great-uncle) was shipped off to fight in WWII. He enlisted in the navy and served as a fireman aboard the U.S.S. St. Lo. On October 25, 1944, his ship was hit by a Kamikaze, and he went down with the ship.

I recently asked my grandpa if he still remembered his brother all these years later, and he started to cry. He says it’s like no time has passed at all. He still remembers the telegram sent to his parents letting them know their son had been declared missing in action. He remembers the telegram that arrived a couple months later to officially declare his death, and the letter from one of his shipmates remembering the great man my great-uncle was.

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