Intrepid Museum Presents Tour Guide Talks to Honor Black History Month

The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum will celebrate Black History Month this February with a special edition of its regular Tour Guide Talks. Three different talks will be given on various days and times until Friday, February 28, 2014.

Daily at 3:45 p.m. - With Bravery and Distinction: The African-American Journey in Sea, Air and Space celebrates the accomplishments of African-Americans, with stories from the men who manned the U.S.S. Intrepid's own Gun Tub-10, and the brave ship stewards who fought to save the Intrepid from a kamikaze attack. The talk also explores Jesse Brown, the U.S. Navy's first African-American combat pilot who lost his life during the Korean war; Robert Lawrence, America's first African-American astronaut who in 1967, was part of the Gemini MOL (Manned Orbital Laboratory) program; and many more.

Weekends at 11:45a.m. and 1:45p.m -  Tuskegee Airmen: Their Accomplishments and Their Legacy is a 15 minute Tour Guide Talk focusing on the famed Tuskegee Airmen who fought in the European Theater during WWII. During the talk, patrons will learn about their beginnings, their accomplishments and their legacy. They will learn of other pioneer African-American aviators that preceded and also followed the Tuskegee Airmen; individuals such as Willa Beatrice Brown of the Coffey School of Aviation; Eugene Bullard of the Lafayette Escadrille who received the Croix de Guerre and the Medaile Militaire. During the talk, listeners will also learn of the first African-American U.S. Navy aviator; the first and only African American to qualify for service in the SR-71 and more.

Weekends at 12:45p.m. and 2:45p.m. -  DE529 - USS Mason was a Destroyer Escort that served during the Battle of the Atlantic. The ship made history in 1944 by becoming the first U.S. Naval ship to have a predominately African-American crew. It was unusual at this time for black men to run a naval ship due to the rules of segregation, but due to pressure from the African-American community and the First Lady, Eleanor Roosevelt, the President insisted on changes that allowed more African-American sailors to be given rates and duties other than ship stewards and messmen. The ship was part of an experiment, to see if black men could actually handle the rigors of a modern naval ship. The crew, because of their race, would endure discrimination wherever they went from other U.S. naval personnel, who often challenged their capability. This talk tells the story of the USS Mason a “spunky” destroyer escort, Captain William Blackford and most importantly the crew, 160 brave African-American men who proudly served.

All Tour Guide Talks are free with the price of admission to the Museum. Tours are most appropriate for ages 6 and up. Sign up at the Information Desk in Hangar 1.

For more information, visit

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