Tuskegee Airmen exhibit scheduled for Tuesday

A U.S. Air Force veteran and oral historian will highlight the legacy of America’s first black military airmen during a Veteran’s Day event at NDSU.

Ron Spriggs is scheduled to bring his Exhibit of the Tuskegee Airmen to the Memorial Union’s Century Theater on Tuesday, Nov. 12 at noon. A reception to honor NDSU veterans will follow in the Prairie Rose room.

“Stories of veterans can be hard to tell and often people forget to take the time to listen,” said Regina Ranney, diversity program coordinator at NDSU. “Listening to stories of veterans, like that of the World War II Tuskegee Airmen, is a way to express gratitude for the loved ones and strangers, that defend our freedoms.”

The success of the Tuskegee Airmen in World War II has been credited with helping prompt the integration of the U.S. Armed Forces. In 1948, President Harry Truman passed Executive Order 9981 outlawing racial segregation and promoting more equal treatment and opportunity in the U.S. armed forces.

Culminating with the 2007 reception of the Congressional Medal of Honor, Spriggs will recount the history of the Tuskegee Airmen, recognize behind-the-scenes contributors to their achievements and review aviation technology used during World War II.

“Honoring the legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen is an opportunity for us to gain a deeper understanding of a group of American heroes that made exceptional commitments to our country, despite not being fully accepted at home or on the battlefield,” Ranney said.

A reception to honor NDSU veterans will take place at 1:15 p.m. on Tuesday in the Memorial Union Prairie Rose room. All are invited to attend to thank staff, faculty and student veterans for their service. The program will include recognition of the 60th anniversary of the Memorial Union, with messages from Calie Craddock, NDSU American Legion Post 400; Robbie Lauf, student body president; and Erik Diederich, student body vice president.

Veteran’s Day events are sponsored by the Office of Registration and Records, Division of Equity, Diversity and Global Outreach, Memorial Union, Compass Program Foundation, US Bank and NDSU American Legion Post 400.

NDSU is recognized as one of the nation’s top 108 public and private universities by the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education.

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