History of the National Aviation Hall of Fame:
The National Aviation Hall of Fame was founded in 1962 as an Ohio non-profit corporation in Dayton, Ohio, the home of the Wright Brothers and the “birthplace of aviation.” The five founders of this organization were James W. Jacobs, Gregory C. Karas, John A. Lombard, Larry E. O’Neil, and Gerald E. Weller.
On July 14, 1964 the National Aviation Hall of Fame was chartered nationally by an act of the U. S. 88th Congress, public law 88-372 signed by President Lyndon B. Johnson. The organization continues today as a public foundation reporting annually to Congress. The primary support for this foundation comes from private, tax-deductible membership dues and contributions from individuals and organizations.
The National Aviation Hall of Fame is dedicated to honoring individuals who have uniquely contributed to America’s rich legacy of aviation achievement—achievement generated by American ingenuity and individual acts of great vision, persistence, skill and courage.
Since 1962 the National Aviation Hall of Fame has inducted over 200 of the nation’s premier air and space pioneers into the organization. The names are virtual who’s who in the world of aviation including the Wright Brothers, Amelia Earhart, Charles Lindbergh and astronauts John Glenn, Neil Armstrong and others.
The purpose of the National Aviation Hall of Fame is to preserve and memorialize the outstanding accomplishments of enshrinees. The goal is to create a distinctive national aviation education resource that will inspire others to appreciate and honor this nation’s extraordinary aviation legacy and the men and women who created it.
After a two-year capital fundraising campaign, ground breaking for the first permanent home of the National Aviation Hall of Fame took place on July 19, 1996. The 17,250 sq. ft. aviation education center is connected to the world famous National Museum of the US Air Force in Dayton, Ohio. The exhibit floor includes a unique aviation learning and research center, featuring the latest in interactive displays on flight. The displays cover the full arena of flight including military, commercial, general and sport aviation, as well as space flight. The NAHF is open daily from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM except Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years and Easter. There are no parking or admission fees.
Principal activities since 1962 are the annual gala induction ceremonies for over 200 (4-5 per year) people selected for enshrinement. The selection process for induction into the National Aviation Hall of Fame involves a rigorous review and final selection process by a prestigious and knowledgeable group of aviation and space experts from around the country.
The organization governed by a Board of Trustees stands as a separate Ohio non-profit entity and operates on tax deductible membership dues and contributions. The National Aviation Hall of Fame does not receive federal funding.