This is an opportunity for your students to research and attempt to solve a real, historical mystery!
Some initial research and suggestions are provided.
This “history sleuth” slideshow suggests that a well-dressed gentleman filmed standing a few feet from President Woodrow Wilson in a crowd present at the launch of regular, continuous U.S. Airmail might be the African-American scholar, writer, historian and civil rights activist W.E.B. DuBois. A copy of this PDF may be shared with your students (only); it provides suggestions for further research to prove or disprove this hypothesis.
Research pages to help your students organize their detective work and note their findings are included in separate, editable, Microsoft Word and PDF documents.
If one of your students solves the mystery, let me know! I don’t have the “final answer” myself although I’ve provided information from online archives about Dr. DuBois’ appearance and his travels during May, 1918. I will add new information to the slideshow (with appropriate credit given to the students/source). Each purchaser is entitled to a free download of any future revisions.
Valerie Salven. J.D., B.G.I.
A history of the early U.S. Airmail—including the inaugural airmail flight from Washington, D.C.—is provided in the following product:
U.S. Airmail: First Pilots, Early Flights
Other products that may be of interest:
Five Hazardous Attitudes in History
Amelia Earhart : Her History
Tuskegee Airmen: Four Advocates
Internet Aviation Scavenger Hunt — Pilots and Legends
Eastern Airlines Flight 401 and an Aviation Ghost Mystery