The Winter Park Library is proud to announce its commitment to curate and house The Richard Hall Repository of Florida Tuskegee Airmen memorabilia collection to keep alive the legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen and their role in U.S. and Florida history.
The Winter Park Library has hosted numerous events and celebrated Chief Master Sergeant, Retired, Richard R. Hall, Jr., the first Floridian enlisted to be a Tuskegee Airmen and a Documented Original Tuskegee Airman (D.O.T.A.). CMSgt Hall was born in Hannibal Square, the oldest unincorporated town in Florida.
The Tuskegee Airmen collection will be an interactive, teaching environment open to learners of all ages. It will feature state of the art (digitized) artifacts, memorabilia, oral histories, live presentations, and more from Tuskegee Airmen and their families throughout the state.
The Tuskegee Airmen overcame segregation and prejudice to become one of the most highly respected fighter groups of World War II. They proved conclusively that African Americans could fly and maintain sophisticated combat aircraft. The Tuskegee Airmen’s achievements, together with the men and women who supported them, paved the way for full integration of the U.S. military and earned them more than 150 Distinguished Flying Crosses.
“The Library is proud to partner with the Central Florida Chapter of Tuskegee Airmen to maintain this legacy,” said Sabrina Bernat, Winter Park Library Executive Director. “We recognize the importance of the Tuskegee Airmen in our history, and particularly to the history of Hannibal Square in Winter Park.”
The Richard Hall Repository of Florida Tuskegee Airmen memorabilia collection will be housed in the library’s new building currently under construction near the Hannibal Square neighborhood and is scheduled to open in 2021. The Library project’s lead architect/designer, Sir David Adjaye, (OBE) was a member of the design team for the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History & Culture in Washington, D.C.
The announcement coincides with the news that Tuskegee Airmen, Inc. (TAI) announced its newest locally chartered chapter will be named in honor of Chief Master Sergeant, Retired, Richard R. Hall, Jr., the first Floridian enlisted to be a Tuskegee Airmen. The CMSgt Richard R. Hall, Jr. Central Florida Chapter of Tuskegee Airmen, Inc. is established in the historic town of Eatonville, FL, The Town That Freedom Built, est. 1887 and operates out of The Winter Park Library.