College - Author 1

College of Liberal Arts

Department - Author 1

Social Sciences Department

Degree Name - Author 1

BS in Social Sciences



Primary Advisor

Robert K. Schaeffer, College of Liberal Arts, Social Sciences Department


History museums record and memorialize deeply affecting historical events. They offer opportunities to enhance and build on the history taught. Displayed artifacts and memorabilia can narrate significant stories from the past and provide an educational background. This paper is about the Planes of Fame Air Museum and the focus is on ways that they have significantly memorialized their collection of rare warbirds. I begin by providing background information about the founder and how his visions led him to building a successful aviation museum. The vision of Planes of Fame is to preserve aviation history through the restoration and flying of rare aircraft, and through the displays and information they impart. I argue that there are many underlying significances behind these warbird displays. I support this argument by explaining the many ways that warbirds have impacted the public. These warbirds create a dialogue between generations, they promote self-reflexivity to help us to better appreciate who we are and how we came to be, they help share the ethical and cultural qualities about the history of the war, and they allow people to identify with current world problems, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. I explain how the museum has responded to this global crisis. This includes the struggles and difficulties that the organization has faced due to closing their doors and how they have been able to survive as a museum through this struggling time.