FAA Resources: Defining Moments in Aviation History
ARSA staff members frequently search for resources, guides, and tools that might be useful for our members as they work to ensure global aviation safety. Today’s installment comes from the Federal Aviation Administration’s‘ Celebrating a History of Excellence,’ a page devoted to American aviation history.
The historical webpage contains exciting articles, photos, chronological timelines, and anecdotes designed to provide insight into the history of FAA involvement in aviation in the United States. The stories regarding aviation range from the story of Geraldine “Jerrie” Mock, also known as “The Flying Housewife,” to emergency action taken during the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the Pentagon and the World Trade Center in New York City. The page also features stories pertaining to more scandalous issues, such as whether the FAA headquarters was the past home of slave pens and agency action in the infamous Watergate brigade.
A short Excerpt from Ronald Lamb, Jr.’s ‘FAA and Watergate’
“In January 1973, five men were convicted for the Watergate break-in, and former Nixon aides, G. Gordon Liddy and James McCord were convicted of conspiracy, burglary, and wiretapping. Convinced that the scandal went deeper than just the break-in, Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein kept the break-in front page news. The Senate began its own investigation, and established the Select Committee on Presidential Campaign Activities. In May the Senate committee began hearings. As the hearings proceeded, evidence pointed to Nixon’s direct involvement in the scandal. FAA Administrator Alexander Butterfield’s public disclosure of the existence of a secret White House taping system during the hearings, which proved President Nixon’s involvement in the scandal, ultimately led to Nixon’s resignation on August 9, 1974… Butterfield’s responsibilities involved setting Nixon’s schedule and maintaining historical records. He also supervised internal security for the White House. In this capacity, he oversaw the installation of a secret, voice-activated taping system in the White House…
“In public testimony on July 16, 1973, when asked specifically if White House conversations were recorded, Butterfield replied, “Everything was taped . . . as long as the president was in attendance. There was not so much of a hint that something should not be taped.” After Butterfield’s testimony, a protracted legal battle ensued between the White House and the prosecutors trying to gain access to the tapes. Facing impeachment by the House and removal from office by the Senate, on August 9, 1974 Nixon resigned the presidency. Although Butterfield was not involved in the Watergate cover-up and did not face any criminal consequences, his political career became irreparably tarnished among many Republicans…”
To see the entire ‘Celebrating History’ collection, click here.
For more international aviation resources, click here.