Three original Tuskegee Airmen to speak Feb. 20
In celebration of Black History Month, Argonne will host Tuskegee Airmen Hollis Cornelius, Julian Johnson and O. Lawton Wilkerson for a discussion of their experiences in World War II. All employees are invited to attend the talk on Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018, at 10 a.m. in the Bldg. 402 Auditorium.
Cornelius, Johnson and Wilkerson were part of the “Tuskegee Experience,” the Army Air Corps program to train African Americans to fly and maintain combat aircraft. The Tuskegee Airmen included pilots, navigators, bombardiers, maintenance and support staff, instructors and all the personnel who kept the planes in the air.
The Airmen will give Argonne employees a bird’s eye view of life as an Army Air Corps member in an all segregated unit, including the famed 332 Fighter Squadron and 99th Pursuit Squadron. For most, this program is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, as there remain very few original Tuskegee Airmen alive today. As a part of the program, selected parts of the movies “Red Tails” and “The Tuskegee Airmen” will be screened.
In 1948, President Harry Truman signed Executive Order 9981, which effectively abolished racial discrimination in the United States Armed Forces and eventually led to the end of segregation in the services. The achievements of the Tuskegee Airmen— who worked so hard for the right to fight for their country — played a critical role in making this happen.
The event is co-sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy Integrated Support Center – Chicago (DOE ISC-CH), the DOE ISC-CH Unity Council, the DOE Black Emphasis Program, Argonne African American ERG, Argonne Veterans Group and the Argonne Leadership Institute.
Shuttle service will be provided starting at 9:15 a.m. with stops at 201, 212, 202, 203, 200, 205, 240 and 362. Return trips will follow the talk. Event parking is prohibited along the sides of roads; if the main parking lot is full, please use the APS overflow lot located near Building 450.