Clifford W. Henderson National Air Races Collection (MS4309)
About this collection
Clifford William Henderson (1895-1984) was director of the National Air Races, 1928-1939, as well as other air races and expositions. Henderson managed and promoted sporting and cultural events, expositions, and conventions in the Los Angeles area after resigning from the National Air Races. He served with honor in North Africa during World War II, and founded the community of Palm Desert, California. The collection is a comprehensive body of documentary evidence reflecting the organization and implementation of the races, consisting of press releases, letters, programs, posters, tickets, buttons, clippings, certificates and plaques. The 1928 race was held in Los Angeles, but from 1929 to 1939 most of the races were held in Cleveland. They featured cross country races, short races, army and navy maneuvers, stunt flying, parachute jumping, gliders, dirigibles, balloons and model planes and were considered a working laboratory for the aviation industry where new developments could be tested and refined. The collection is useful to the study of the races as both a popular amusement and as an aviation industry endeavor. In addition, the collection contains excellent examples of graphic design and illustration and biographical materials on various aviators.