Wheeler Airlines: An American First

In North Carolina, aviation experienced important developments in the late 1920s. In 1928 the state’s first airmail flight landed at Lindley Field in Greensboro. By 1929 Raleigh introduced commercial air passenger service. Shortly thereafter, flights began to serve Greensboro and Charlotte. At the beginning of the 1930s, Charlotte, Greensboro, and Raleigh were served by the recently founded Eastern Airlines.

White Americans controlled all flying services. In fact, because of high fares, few African Americans took flights. However, by the end of the 1960s, more middle-class Americans could afford to fly. Because of this, all Americans began viewing airplanes as an economical way to travel. Yet not until 1969 did an African American own an airline. That person was Warren Hervey Wheeler.

Originally posted on Tar Heel Junior Historian 43:1 (fall 2003) Read the full article here.

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