SEATTLE, Jan. 22, 2009
--In a special, evening program on Jan. 28 at The Museum of Flight, Dr. Tom D. Crouch, the Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum Senior Curator of the Division of Aeronautics, speaks from his 2009 book, "Lighter Than Air - An Illustrated History of Airships and Balloons." The 7 p.m. presentation chronicles lighter-than-air flight from its infancy to the latest in sport balloons and plans for future airships.
Crouch's presentation describes the heroes who made history in the sky: the eighteenth-century pioneers who first took to the skies in balloons, the aeronauts who criss-crossed two continents a century later, the airmen who manned the great rigid airships, and the intrepid balloonists who flew their craft across oceans and continents in the years following World War II. The program is illustrated with prints and photos from the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C., the Museé de l'Air et de l'Espace at Le Bourget, the Zepplin-Museum at Zepplinheim, and the Imperial War Museum in London. A question and answer session and book signing follows the program. The presentation is in the William M. Allen Theater, admission is $10 general public, and $5 for Museum members. Museum members may reserve seats by calling the Museum Membership Office at 206-768-7171.
Tom D. Crouch is a well known historian and biographer who has written and edited over a dozen books, including "The Bishop's Boys: A Life of Wilbur and Orville Wright," "Wings: A History of Aviation from Kites to the Space Age," and "A Dream of Wings: Americans and the Airplane 1875-1905." Since 1974, he has served both the National air and SpaceMuseum and the National Museum of American History in a variety of curatorial and administrative posts. He holds a B.A. from Ohio University, and M.A. from Miami University, and a Ph.D. from the Ohio State University. All of his degrees are in history. Crouch also holds the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, conferred by the Wright State University.
Crouch has won several major awards for historical writing, including prizes offered by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and the Aviation/Space Writers Association, a Christopher Award, and the AIAA Gardner-Lasser Aerospace History Literature Prize for 2005. In 2000, President Clinton appointed Crouch to the chairmanship of the First Flight Centennial Federal Advisory Board.