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.

The 1,401 square mile expanse of Long Island, stretching 118 miles from New York City to Montauk Point is the largest island in the continental U.S.A. Today this densely populated land-mass located in the southeastern corner of New York State is home to some 7.6 million people. But at the dawn of the aviation age, with its proximity to Manhattan and its native grasslands and flat, wide-open landscape, Long Island was a natural airfield, providing the best platform for daring aviators from the world over, to begin or conclude their experimental flights. In 1909, one such aviator, Glenn Curtiss, arrived…

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The Port Authority held its 2022 WE SOAR HIGHER Rewards & Recognition program for the second quarter on September 2, celebrating two exemplary employees at EWR for their outstanding customer service. The virtual event was organized by Renner Rachel (Supervisor, Customer Experience at Newark Liberty International Airport), who kicked off the ceremony by welcoming attendees from the EWR community and announced the Q2 winners, Juan Alsina of Hudson News and Auguste Noel of ERMC. Juan Alsina, Hudson News In meeting the WE SOAR mission statement of ‘Delivering exceptional experiences together, we will soar to new heights and proudly become the…

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On August 13th, Honor Flight Long Island (HFLI) and the American Airpower Museum at Republic Airport in Farmingdale hosted a reunion of 37 Vietnam veterans and one WWII veteran who had taken an Honor Flight to Washington D.C. in June of 2022. Honor Flight Long Island’s mission is to honor as many Long Island veterans for their service and sacrifice to country by providing them with a daylong trip, at no cost to the veteran, to visit the war memorials designed and built in their honor at our nation’s Capital. Departing early from Islip MacArthur Airport, these veterans received an…

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About six or seven years ago, while working for the Cradle of Aviation Museum as the curatorial assistant and collections registrar, curator Josh Stoff asked me to develop and implement an online digital archive of the Museum’s significant and extraordinary photo archive. With prints numbering in the tens of thousands and I essentially’ flying solo,’ save for the assistance of only one volunteer in the curatorial department, the project seemed absolutely insurmountable at the time. But fortunately, as I began to research a possible digital platform on which to place the archive, my one volunteer and ‘wingman,’ Joel Friedman, stepped…

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The Orbis Flying Eye Hospital is a fully accredited ophthalmic teaching hospital on board an airplane. Its first flight took place on March 1, 1982. Over the past four decades Orbis has provided vital eye care to thousands of people worldwide. Using cutting edge technology and the innovative use of avionics, hospital engineering and clinical expertise, Orbis is a leading international non-profit that unites people in the organization’s mission to fight avoidable blindness in over 90 countries throughout the globe. In the late 1960s, the concept of Orbis began when renowned ophthalmologist Dr. David Paton, a faculty member of the…

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Growing up in West Islip on Long Island in the 1970s, Brian Keene loved to hang around John F. Kennedy Airport. Awestruck by the colors and trademark insignia of aircraft and their movement about the airport, along with the grandiosity of the space and iconic building designs of the Jet Age, Keene decided to take his passion for aviation and the airport to another level by building a 1:400 scale replica of JFK International Airport that would capture and remind him of a moment of time in his life when he was first bitten by the aviation bug. With 42…

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JFKIAT, the operator of Terminal 4 at John F. Kennedy International Airport, partnered with The Guide Dog Foundation of Smithtown, NY, to host a puppy class for volunteer puppy raisers at JFK’s T4. The class introduced four future guide dogs in training to TSA security and the busy sights, sounds, and smells of an airport to provide socialization and exposure to everyday situations at a busy airport terminal so that the puppies can become confident guide dogs for someone who is blind or visually impaired. The partnership between JFK T4 and The Guide Dog Foundation is dedicated to giving back…

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Seymour Kaplan was 17 years old when he enlisted in the U.S. Army in the 1940s. Born in Brooklyn in September 1926 to Russian-Jewish immigrants, he wanted to get into the action after the bombing of Pearl Harbor because he had heard disturbing rumors about what was happening to Jews in Germany and other parts of Europe. The minimum age for the draft was 18 and because proof of age was not required, like so many other young men at the time, he signed up for the draft and put in for immediate induction. Three weeks later he was wearing…

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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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