POSTED: Sunday, June 9, 2013 - 2:00pm
UPDATED: Sunday, June 9, 2013 - 2:04pm
Baton Rouge, La — Almost everyone is fascinated with flying and its magical mechanical mysteries. But Vincent Caire's love for aviation is far above the norm. It stems from his childhood and permeates through his life today as a pilot and as a historian for Louisiana's 100 year history of aviation.
Caire will be the featured speaker at the Foundation for Historical Louisiana Heritage Lecture on Thursday, June 13, at the Old Governor's Mansion. He will also sign his book, "Louisiana Aviation-An Extraordinary History in Photographs", a publication of LSU Press.
The author is a licensed pilot who has written for Air and Space Smithsonian Magazine and Aviation International News, among other publications. He wrote and produced the public television documentary film Sky Riders: Louisiana’s Aviation Pioneers.
Caire's lecture will include highlights from the state’s history of flight accompanied by vintage and contemporary photographs of Louisiana's pioneers and advocates for aviation. Caire's knowledge spans the depth of aviation, including a history of many of the state's 70 public airports. His book is 144 pages and includes 196 halftones.
Of particular interest to historians will be stories of early aviation figures including aircraft designer and racing pilot James Wedell, pioneering airline executive C. E. Woolman, founder of Delta Airlines, and the efforts of Harry P. Williams, co-founder of the Wedell-Williams Air Service in Patterson, Louisiana to obtain air mail contracts and develop viable postal air routes in the southeastern United States throughout the era of the Great Depression.
He will also share the remarkable renovation and restoration after Katrina of the Shushan Airport Terminal in New Orleans. Completed in 1933, it is one of the first modern, multi-operational Art Deco air terminals in the nation, a pet project of Governor/Senator Huey P. Long and sibling to the Louisiana State Capitol building, the Old Governor's Mansion - host of this lecture series, and Charity Hospital in New Orleans.
The Heritage Lecture Series is open to FHL members for free and $10 for guests. The public is invited to attend. The event begins at 6:00 p.m., and the lecture follows at 6:30 p.m. in the East Room of the mansion.