Clip from "A Life with Aviation," an episode of Here At The Smithsonian, aired in 1983, Smithsonian Institution Archives, Accession 00-132, Volume 2, Episode 1.

Here At The Smithsonian: The History of Aviation

Let’s take a look at some of the collections at the National Air and Space Museum.

Before the age of YouTube and Instagram, public audiences learned about the happenings at the Smithsonian in newspapers, on the radio, and via public television programming. Between 1982 and 1989, TV viewers could catch up with the Smithsonian’s latest exhibitions and research activities through short video features in a series called Here At The Smithsonian.

The National Air and Space Museum contains planes from all ages of the history of flight.

The first video, “A Life with Aviation,” focuses on Paul Garber, the first head of the National Air and Space Museum. Garber talks about how his love of aviation developed as a kid, and how he convinced Smithsonian Secretary Charles G. Abbot to acquire Charles Lindbergh’s plane, the Spirit of St. Louis, before he even completed its historic flight.

Our second video, “Restoring it ‘Wright,’” we learn more about the Wright Brothers’ first airplane that is on display at the National Air and Space Museum. After the airplane sat on display for years at the Museum, staff restored it to its former glory.

The third video, “Black Wings,” highlights the Black Wings exhibition at the National Air and Space Museum. The exhibition pays tribute to the triumphs and struggles of Black Americans in the field of aviation.

Tune in on the last Tuesday of each month to explore more video features from Here at the Smithsonian. Interested in more? Head to our YouTube playlist of recently-uploaded clips from the series.

Related Collections

  • Office of Telecommunications Productions, 1982-1989, Accession 00-132, Smithsonian Institution Archives

Related Resources

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