Celebrate Black History Month with Smithsonian Institution Aviation Lecture and Book Signing

MIAMI – Join HistoryMiami for an exhibition program featuring Von Hardesty, Ph.D. former curator of the Smithsonian Institution National Air and Space Museum and author of Black Wings: African Americans in Aviation and Space History, Saturday, February 25 at 3 p.m. at 101 West Flagler Street in downtown Miami.

The event which is open to the public is free with general museum admission of $8 to non-members and is presented in conjunction with the Miami-Dade County Black Affairs Advisory Board and the Smithsonian Affiliations program.

Since the invention of the airplane, aviation has been associated with adventure and heroism. For African Americans, however, flight opportunities were initially limited – a consequence of racial discrimination. Learn about the African Americans who broke these barriers from the early pioneers and barnstormers through the Tuskegee airmen and Shuttle astronauts.

Von Hardesty, Ph.D. is a noted expert on African American aerospace history. He curated the original Black Wings exhibition at the National Air and Space Museum in 1983. In addition to Black Wings, Hardesty has written a number of books, including Lindbergh: Flight’s Enigmatic Hero; Air Force One: The Aircraft that Shaped the Modern Presidency; and Great Aviators and Epic Flights.

On view at The Museum of HistoryMiami through July 22, 2012 is Aviation in Miami: The First 100 Years. The exhibition goes behind-the-scenes to explore the extensive engagement Greater Miami and its residents have had with the industry since this historic first flight. On view are artifacts from famous aviators such as Glenn Curtiss, Charles Lindbergh, Eddie Rickenbacker and Amelia Earhart and airlines such as Pan American World Airways and Eastern Airlines.

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