Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site

In the 1940's, Tuskegee, Alabama became home to a "military experiment" to train America's first African-American military pilots. In time, the "experiment" became known as the Tuskegee Experience and the participants as the Tuskegee Airmen.

Lee Rayford in T6 trainer
Lee Rayford in T6 trainer

National park Service, Tuskegee Airmen National historic Site


Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site is a small package with lots of good things to offer. It was at Tuskegee, in the heart of the American South, that Booker T. Washington founded the "Tuskegee Normal School for Colored Teachers." He built the school (later known as Tuskegee Institute) into a major center for African-American education. He brought the best and brightest African-Americans to work with him to fulfill his mission of educating African-Americans for self-sufficiency. Washington and Tuskegee Institute became a major political force in America. George Washington Carver was hired in 1896 by Booker T. Washington to teach agriculture at Tuskegee, Carver spent over 40 years on the Tuskegee campus. An inspired teacher, Carver taught many generations of Tuskegee students. He was committed to increasing African-American farmers' economic independence. Tuskegee Institute became synonymous with Carver and his innovative research on Southern crops and farming methods. The school at Tuskegee founded by Booker T. Washington also had a well-respected aeronautical engineering program. Because of the Institute's flight program, the U.S. military selected Tuskegee Institute as a place to train African-American pilots for the war effort. Aviators came to Tuskegee, Alabama, to hone their flying skills. Their rigorous training at Moton Field and Tuskegee Army Air Field molded over 1,000 pilots into one of the most highly respected U.S. fighter groups of World War II.


Last updated: March 31, 2012

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Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration
Statue of Liberty National Monument

New York, NY 10004


(212) 363-3200

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