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Highway Named After Tuskegee Airmen
Updated October 20, 2016 6:13 AM
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(COLUMBUS) - Today, the official ribbon cutting ceremony for the renaming of a section of Interstate Highway 65 to the Tuskegee Airmen Highway will take place at 10 a.m. at the Columbus Municipal Airport.

The Tuskegee Airmen were the first African-American military aviators in the United States Armed Forces

The Tuskegee Airmen experience was that of winning a "Double Victory" over fascism overseas and racism at home.

During World War II, black Americans in many U.S. states were still subject to the Jim Crow laws and the American military was racially segregated, as was much of the federal government. The Tuskegee Airmen were subjected to discrimination, both within and outside the army. All black military pilots who trained in the United States trained at Moton Field, the Tuskegee Army Air Field, and were educated at Tuskegee University, located near Tuskegee, Alabama

The Tuskegee Airmen were collectively recognized with the Congressional Gold Medal on March 27, 2007. The medal is currently on display at the Smithsonian Institution.

The State of Indiana made significant contribution to that Tuskegee Airmen legacy with: an Angola, native serving as the director of the first half of training for all Tuskegee Airmen aviators; an Indianapolis, native as commander of the activity that prepared men without completed college degrees to enter pilot training; an Indianapolis, native being a member of the first class of pilots to graduate from the Tuskegee Advance Flying School; an Brazil, native being the first African American to shoot down an enemy fighter; and the State of Indiana being the location of the "Freeman Field Mutiny" where over 100 officers were arrested for refusing to sign an order preventing them from going to the white only officer's club.

House Concurrent Resolution No. 56 specifically renames the section of Interstate Highway 65 from Seymour to Johnson County to be renamed the Tuskegee Airmen Highway.

The sponsors for HCR No. 56 include: Indiana House Representatives Porter, C. Brown, Bartlett, V. Brown, Harris, Shackleford, V Smith, Summers, Pelath, Lehman, and Leonard. The requesting activity for this act of the Indiana Legislature is the Indianapolis Chapter of the Tuskegee Airmen, Inc.

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