Did you know the first Dayton Air Show, then called the Air Fair, was held June 26-27, 1975, at the James M. Cox International Airport? The 44th annual Air Show will take place on June 23-24. Special Collections & Archives has been collecting photographs, programs, and other items related to the Air Show over the last 44 years.
Performers have included Miami Valley residents Harold Johnson (The Flying Mayor of Moraine) and Bob and Patty Wagner as well as the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds, U.S. Army Golden Knights, U.S. Navy Blue Angels, the Canadian Forces Snowbirds, Patty Wagstaff, Betty Stewart, and Sean Tucker to name a few.
One notable collection is the George “JR” Wedekind Aviation Collection, 1955-2003 (MS-436). Wedekind was one of the founders of the air show and served as the air show director and executive director before retiring in 1994. Other collections can be found in our Aviation collection guide.
The Dayton Daily News Archive (MS-458) also holds an extensive collection of photographs documenting the performers and spectators at the Air Show over the years. A sampling of the photographs can be viewed on the Dayton Daily News Archive blog.
If you make it to the Air Show this year, be sure to stop by the National Aviation Heritage Area tent and say hello to the crew from SC&A! We’ll be there both days to share information on the Archives and our aviation collections.
To get ready for the Air Show in a few weeks here are just a few program covers throughout the years from the Wedekind Collection.