Black Wings: The American Black in Aviation (Exhibition) (1982-2016: National Air and Space Museum) Search this
Chronology of Smithsonian History
Louis R. Purnell, Oral history Interviews, Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 9578
Bellizzi, Courtney. "Louis Purnell, Airman and Curator." Smithsonian Institution Archives. February 22, 2011. http://siarchives.si.edu/blog/Louis-purnell-airman-and-curator.
Louis R. Purnell becomes curator of the Department of Space Science of the National Air and Space Museum, thus becoming the Smithsonian Institution's first African American curator. Purnell was a Tuskegee Airman who started working for the Smithsonian Institution in 1961 as a Museum Specialist with the National Museum of Natural History. He would become an instrumental part of building the astronautics branch of NASM, becoming the world's foremost expert on space suits. He was also instrumental in bringing the Tuskegee Airmen exhibit to life.