Author: Julia Lauria-Blum

Julia Lauria-Blum earned a degree in the Visual Arts at SUNY New Paltz. An early interest in women aviation pioneers led her to research the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) of WW II. In 2001 she curated the permanent WASP exhibit at the American Airpower Museum (AAM) in Farmingdale, NY, and later curated 'Women Who Brought the War Home, Women War Correspondents, WWII’ at the AAM. Julia is the former curatorial assistant at the Cradle of Aviation Museum and is currently an editorial contributor for Metropolitan Airport News.

Today a monumental sculpture was publicly unveiled and dedicated to the late astronaut Dr. Sally Ride at the Cradle of Aviation Museum in Garden City, New York. The seven-foot-tall bronze statue was created by Colorado-based sculptors, George and Mark Lundeen who worked with artist, Joey Bainer. As a NASA astronaut, Dr. Ride made history on June 18, 1983, when she became the first American woman to travel into space aboard the Space Shuttle Challenger. This sculpture is unique among public monuments, as less than 8% of statues in the United States depict women. Dr. Ride is depicted in her space shuttle…

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David Neeleman’s story within the airline industry is one of legendary innovation and successful entrepreneurship. He was born on October 16, 1959, in Sao Paolo, Brazil, where his father was working as a foreign correspondent for United Press International. He spent his early childhood before the family moved back to the United States, settling in Cottonwoods, Utah when David was five years old. At the age of nine, Neeleman’s first job was working at his grandfather’s grocery store, Miniature Market, in downtown Salt Lake City. He worked there for ten years checking out customers, ordering materials, and stacking the shelves.…

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The Charles Taylor Master Mechanic Award & The Portal of the Folded Wings On the final approach into Burbank Airport (BUR), California, I gazed down at the ground from the window seat of the Airbus A321 that I had flown in on from New York earlier that afternoon. From the air, I wanted to catch a glimpse of the beautiful domed rotunda that encircles The Portal of the Folded Wings, located at Pierce Brothers Valhalla Memorial Park, a mile away from the airport. Portal of the Folded Wings Shrine to Aviation is in North Hollywood, Los Angeles, California Only two…

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In 1985, Thomas Betti’s father took him to the Cleveland Airshow. At five years old, Tom was fascinated with two things, aviation and James Bond. That day at the airshow, as the little boy looked up, he saw the Concorde and was captured by it. ‘’Aviation has always been in my blood,” said Tom during a recent interview, “and I always wanted to be a pilot, but at five, I had an eye injury, and that put that dream to rest.” But as he grew up, Tom’s pull toward aviation would resurface during many ‘chance encounters’ which arose over the…

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Bacardi, one of the largest privately held spirits companies in the world is suing American Airlines for the disappearance of over $65,000 worth of French brandy last year. Bacardi USA, the American division of the Spanish liquor manufacturer, stated in its lawsuit that twenty-four pallets containing 1,680 cases of cognac, a type of brandy from the Cognac region of France, were loaded onto an American Airlines flight in Paris and that when the shipment arrived at Los Angeles International Airport, six pallets and three cases were missing. While not directly accusing American Airlines of stealing the French cognac, it contends…

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Jane Mrosko, Program Manager at Travelers Aid, John F. Kennedy International Airport Jane Mrosko is the caring and creative manager of volunteers and volunteer programs with Travelers Aid at John F. Kennedy International Airport. She is dedicated to the mission of helping others and enhancing the volunteer experience. Jane is passionate about welcoming, assisting, and advocating for travelers, helping them navigate and feel supported on their journey. 1 Tell us about your background. How did you become involved with Travelers Aid; what is its mission, and who and what areas does it serve?  I earned my MSW (Master of Social…

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Operated by Travelers Aid International (TAI), the mission of this 501-c-3 non-profit organization is to aid people in transit who are in distress or are experiencing unexpected challenges in making cross-country connections. Travelers Aid at John F. Kennedy International Airport is part of a network of 20 other Travelers Aid Transportation Centers, which includes airports, train stations, and bus terminals. The JFK Airport program provides direct services and services provided by their member organizations and is funded by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.  Since 1957, when Travelers Aid opened its first information booth at what…

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Joshua Stoff is the curator of the Cradle of Aviation Museum in Garden City, NY where since 1982 he has developed the Museum’s collection and the exhibits. The museum focuses on the history of aviation and spaceflight as it relates to Long Island, covering its contributions, manufacturers, significant events & aviation pioneers. A collection of 75 aircraft and spacecraft produced locally or closely related to Long Island are on exhibit in its galleries. Josh is the author of 20 books on aviation and aerospace history. 1 Why is Long Island called ‘The Cradle of Aviation’ and why is its geographic…

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Cheryl McKissack Daniel is the president and CEO of McKissack & McKissack, the oldest family-run, minority-woman-owned professional design and construction company in the United States. She carries on a family legacy that traces back five generations to her great, great grandfather, Moses McKissack, a former slave who was brought to the United States from West Africa just before the turn of the 18th Century. Moses, who was given the surname of slave owner William McKissack, learned the trade of making bricks. At some point Moses was given his freedom, and he went on to sell his bricks to an eminent…

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As the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey continues a multibillion-dollar redevelopment and modernization of each of its three principal metropolitan airports to meet the needs of air travel in the 21st century, the price of progress marks the end of an era and the beginning of a new one. While familiar architectural markers disappear to make space for creative airport terminal design and infrastructure, their visible departure is a bittersweet reality. Aged structures that have borne witness to a town or city’s cultural history help to give people a sense of place and a connection to the past.…

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