Tuskegee University to Benefit From New National Historic Site at Local Airfield

Later this year the Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site will open in Alabama. The site is an airfield where 1,000 black pilots were trained for a racially segregated fighter squadron that battled the Nazis in World War II.

One of the two main hangars at the field had burned to the ground. It will be reconstructed to resemble the original structure. It will house an IMAX theater which will show a documentary about the Tuskegee airmen. The other hangar, which had fallen into disrepair and was plagued with rats and snakes, has been completely restored and will serve as an interactive museum and will house vintage aircraft that were used by the airmen.

Nearby Tuskegee University, the historically black educational institution founded by Booker T. Washington, will use some rooms in the restored hangar to conduct classes for its new civilian pilot training program.

The National Park Service estimates that nearly a half-million people a year will visit the historic site. Undoubtedly, many of the visitors also will stop by the Tuskegee University campus and purchase university merchandise. More visitors on campus will most assuredly aid the university’s student recruitment efforts.