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History doesn’t have to be boring, and the National Museum of the United States Air Force is anything but boring.
First in Flight. Birthplace of Aviation.
These are the slogans that can be found on license plates of North Carolina and Ohio, respectively.
And if you follow history, you would know that both are accurate; Ohio for its part in the Wright Brothers designing, building, and developing of the test planes, and North Carolina for its part in the first test flights of the Wright Brothers.
Both states set the stage for the aviation revolution, due in part to the Wright Brothers’ willingness to never give up. So, it’s no wonder that Dayton, Ohio houses the National Museum of the United States Air Force, which coincidentally was the city in which the Orville and Wilbur Wright did the majority of their aviation design.
The National Museum of the United States Air Force collects, researches, conserves, interprets and presents the Air Force’s history, heritage and traditions, as well as today’s mission to fly, fight and win … in Air, Space and Cyberspace to a global audience through engaging exhibits, educational outreach, special programs, and the stewardship of the national historic collection. These statutory duties delegated by the Secretary of the Air Force are accomplished on behalf of the American people.
There are 4 hangars full of history: from the beginning of flight to modern-day aircraft, including historical aircraft such as the official Air Force One plane that carried the body of President John F. Kennedy.
The cost is free, and the tours are self-guided, although they do have guided tours available at no charge. Plan to spend at least a couple of hours here, as there’s so much history packed in these buildings.
We usually go at least once a year to the museum, and the kids love the different types of planes that are on display. It’s incredible to see just the history of the aircraft and how much they’ve changed in just short amount of time from the first Wright Flyer to today’s planes.
Continuing from our mini-vacation in February 2015, we decided to stop in Wilmington, NC and visit the USS North Carolina Battleship.
As I said before when I posted about our trip to Fort Macon State Park, I love history and love visiting historical marks whenever possible, wherever I am.
USS North Carolina Battleship is no exception, and I was lucky enough to be able to take the kids with us and watch them learn and experience the history firsthand.
Moored in quiet dignity and majesty the Battleship NORTH CAROLINA, across the river from downtown Wilmington, beckons visitors to walk her decks. Envision the daily life and fierce combat her crew faced in the Pacific Theatre during World War II.
From all across our Nation they came, young men who had grown up in the crucible of the Great Depression and now determined to serve their Country in its time of need. These are the men whose stories you will encounter through their oral histories, photographs, and mementos as you experience the Ship and the exhibits.
This is a self-guided tour, which is perfect for those that wish to take in everything this historical monument has to offer. It’s recommended to set aside 2 hours for this, but I believe we were there for just over 3 hours, and I still feel like we rushed it.
There is a fee for this, so be sure to check the website for the latest information. It’s fairly inexpensive though.
The kids did enjoy this and I’m sure they wouldn’t mind going back sometime in the future.
I still find North Carolina history more fascinating that Ohio history, but I’m probably biased due to being raised in the south.
In February of 2015, we took a small vacation to North Carolina. One of the stops we made was to the historical Fort Macon State Park.
I think I’m one of the few people who spends my vacation going to historical sites, especially if I’ve visited them before. Growing up in eastern North Carolina, I was able to visit a lot of colonial and Civil War-era sites, and so I’ve always been fascinated with those time periods.
It’s no surprise then, that our small vacation a few weeks ago resulted in us visiting Fort Macon State Park, located along the coast of North Carolina.
Fort Macon offers public access to the surf, sun and sand of the Crystal Coast – as well as a historic landmark. Located at the eastern end of Bogue Banks, one of a series of barrier islands along the North Carolina coast, the park is surrounded on three sides by water – the Atlantic Ocean, Beaufort Inlet and Bogue Sound. This area of undisturbed natural beauty is the perfect place to explore salt marshes and estuaries vital to the coastal ecosystem.
We visited the fort around 9am on a Saturday, where there wasn’t anyone else and we could take our time without being interrupted or feel rushed. The air was cool but with the sun out, it felt much warmer than it really was.
There isn’t too much to the fort in terms of ‘hours of entertainment’, but the history behind it is fascinating and well worth the visit. The view of the ocean isn’t bad, either. I definitely recommend checking it out if you’re ever down that way.