The Detroit Historical Society continues its Scholar Series with former Tuskegee Airman Lt. Colonel Alexander Jefferson , who will discuss his time in the Army Air Force during World War II on Wednesday, April 17 at 6 p.m. at the Detroit Historical Museum. Jefferson will also be awarded a plaque from the Society’s Black Historic Sites Committee for his contributions to African American history. College graduate Alexander Jefferson, having enlisted in the U.S. Army Reserves, was turned down when he first applied for flight training in the Army Air Force during World War II.

However, in 1943, the Army assigned Jefferson to the 332 nd Fighter Group of the black “Tuskegee Airmen,” based at Tuskegee Army Airfield in Alabama. The 332 nd , which flew distinctive “Red Tail” P – 51 Mustangs, escorted bombing raids and provided air support for ground troops. During his presentation, Jefferson will show a brief video and explain how being a Tuskegee Airman helped him survive World War II. In addition, he will discuss how his Tuskegee Airman status contributed to his life during the Civil Rights era.

The program will feature a flag ceremony; an introduction from the chair of the Black Historic Sites Committee, Kimberly Simmons; reenactors from the Historic Fort Wayne Coalition; a question and answer session and an award presentation. Lt. Colonel Jefferson will also be available to sign copies of his book, Red Tail Captured, Red Tail Free: Memoirs of a Tuskegee Airman and POW , after the event. Guests will also be invited to tour the Museum’s new Arsenal of Democracy exhibition, featuring Jefferson.

The Scholar Series is free for Detroit Historical Society members and $10 for guests. Free for children under 18 years old. The Film and Scholar Series are supported by the Michigan Council for the Arts and Cultural Affairs and the National Endowment for the Arts.

The Detroit Historical Museum, located at 5401 Woodward Ave. (NW corner of Kirby) in Midtown Detroit, is open to the public Tuesday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. General admission is free for all, all the time. Parking in the Museum’s lot is $5 at all times. Permanent exhibits include the famous Streets of Old Detroit , the Allesee Gallery of Culture , Kid Rock Music Lab , Doorway to Freedom: Detroit and the Underground Railroad , Detroit: The “Arsenal of Democracy , ” Frontiers to Factories , America’s Motor City , and The Glancy Trains . For more information, call the Museum at (313) 833 – 1805 or check out our website at .


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