Florida Air Museum Receives a $10,000 Save Our History Grant From History

The project will document the world’s first airline, the St. Petersburg-Tampa Airboat Line, and the first airline passenger flight across Tampa Bay, January 1, 1914, by renowned test pilot Tony Jannus in a Benoist Model 14 flying boat biplane.


LAKELAND, FL, Sept. 30, 2009 — HISTORY® has awarded the Florida Air Museum at SUN ‘n FUN in Lakeland, Florida a $10,000 Save Our History grant to partner with the Central Florida Aerospace Academy (CFAA) of Kathleen High School, operating on the SUN ‘n FUN campus, for the collaborative development of a new museum exhibit featuring “Florida’s Flying Boats - the First Airline Passenger Service.” The project will document the world’s first airline, the St. Petersburg-Tampa Airboat Line, and the first airline passenger flight across Tampa Bay, January 1, 1914, by renowned test pilot Tony Jannus in a Benoist Model 14 flying boat biplane.

Incorporated within the Academy’s American History curriculum, the "Florida's Flying Boats - the First Airline Passenger Service" exhibit project will engage CFAA students in the creation of a ¼ scale replica of the Benoist flying boat plus participation in publicizing and video graphing the project. In addition to assistance from the Florida Air Museum staff and CFAA faculty, students will receive presentations from the American History faculty of Polk State College and the Florida Aviation Historical Society. The new exhibit is scheduled to be showcased in a special free museum day reception at the Florida Air Museum in May 2010.

The Florida Air Museum, Florida’s official aviation museum and education center, is one of 11 history organizations nationwide that received Save Our History community preservation grants. These grants fund innovative preservation projects designed to bring communities together, actively engage children in the preservation of their local history and communicate the importance of saving local history for future generations.

HISTORY, with the counsel of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors (RPA) and American Association of State and Local History (AASLH), created the Save Our History Grant Program as an extension of the Save Our History philanthropic initiative and is committed to inspiring and motivating local communities to learn about and take an active role in the preservation of their past through projects involving artifacts, oral histories, sites, museums or landmarks that exist in their own neighborhoods. In four years, nearly 2,000 historic organizations, representing all 50 states and the District of Columbia have applied for funding through the Save Our History Grant Program. To date, HISTORY and its cable partners have given over $1 million dollars to fund community preservation projects across the country.

In addition to this project, HISTORY is also awarding Save Our History grants to historic organizations in Alaska, Alabama, Colorado, Illinois, New York, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia.

“HISTORY receives stacks of applications for Save Our History grants,” said Dr. Libby O’Connell, SVP, Corporate Outreach and Chief Historian, HISTORY. “(Organization) demonstrated the creativity and commitment to preservation and education that we believe is fundamental to giving our past a bright future.”

Historic organizations interested in receiving funding for preservation projects developed with local schools or youth groups are encouraged to apply for a 2010/2011 Save Our History Grant. Applications will be available in January 2010, online at www.saveourhistory.com.

About Florida Air Museum, Lakeland, Florida

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