1942 March 7

First Class of Tuskegee Airmen Graduates


The Tuskegee Airmen were a special group of African-American pilots in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II. Creation of the group was the result of civil rights activity in the late 1930s, when the NAACP and others demanded that the government allow African-Americans to serve as pilots. In April 1939, Congress passed an amendment providing funds for training African-American pilots. Eventually, 992 pilots trained at Tuskegee and 450 were deployed overseas.

A total of 150 died in combat or accidents and 32 were captured as prisoners of war.

The U.S. armed forced remained racially segregated through World War II, and were not integrated until President Harry Truman ordered it on July 26, 1948.

Visit the Tuskegee Airmen Web Site:

Read: J. Todd Moye, Freedom Flyers: The Tuskegee Airmen of World War II (2010)

Visit the Tuskegee Airmen Museum in Detroit:

Learn more about African American history: Henry Louis Gates, Life Upon These Shores: Looking at African American History, 1513-2008 (2011)

Find a Day

Abortion Rights ACLU african-americans Alice Paul anti-communism Anti-Communist Hysteria Birth Control Brown v. Board of Education Censorship CIA Civil Rights Civil Rights Act of 1964 Cold War Espionage Act FBI First Amendment Fourteenth Amendment freedom of speech Free Speech Gay Rights Hate Speech homosexuality Hoover, J. Edgar HUAC Japanese American Internment King, Dr. Martin Luther Ku Klux Klan Labor Unions Lesbian and Gay Rights Loyalty Oaths McCarthy, Sen. Joe New York Times Obscenity Police Misconduct Same-Sex Marriage Separation of Church and State Sex Discrimination Smith Act Spying Spying on Americans Vietnam War Voting Rights Voting Rights Act of 1965 War on Terror Watergate White House Women's Rights Women's Suffrage World War I World War II Relocation Camps


Tell Us What You Think

We want to hear your comments, criticisms and suggestions!