Archi Treats

10/18/2012 00:00

Event: Archi Treats
Time: Saturday, Oct. 18, 2012, at 12 p.m
Location: Farley Auditorium, ADAH 624 Washington Avenue
Montgomery AL 36130 USA
Event Website:
Contact: Contact: Sherrie Hamil
Phone: 334-353-4726
Info: ArchiTreats: Food for Thought continues another year of informative talks on Alabama
history at the Alabama Department of Archives and History. Join us at noon on Thursday,
October 18, 2012, as Andrew J. Dunar presents The Space Race in Alabama in the 1950s
and 1960s. Alabama played a vital role in the American space program during the 1950s and 1960s.
Engineers in Huntsville developed and tested the propulsion system that carried the first people
to the Moon in 1969 and the early 1970s. A group of German expatriate engineers led by
Wernher von Braun came to Huntsville in 1950, where they worked at Redstone Arsenal in the
army’s rocket program. They worked with American engineers, most of whom earned their
degrees at universities in the South, for the Army Ballistic Missile Agency in the 1950s. After the
formation of NASA this team provided the core of the Marshall Space Flight Center established
in Huntsville in 1960, which with Houston’s Manned Spacecraft Center (later Johnson Space
Center) was one of the two largest NASA centers throughout the Apollo Program. The talk will
examine the development of the space industry in Huntsville, including the melding of German
and American approaches to engineering, differences between military and civilian approaches
to rocket engineering, and Huntsville’s involvement in the race to the Moon.

Andrew J. Dunar is professor of history and chair of the Department of History at the
University of Alabama in Huntsville. He earned his Ph.D. at the University of Southern
California, and has taught at UAH since 1984. He is co-author of Power to Explore: A History of
Marshall Space Flight Center, 1960-1990, that won the 1999 History Book Award from the
American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. He has also written a biographical essay on
Wernher von Braun that appeared in Realizing the Dream of Flight: Biographical Essays in
Honor of the Centennial of Flight, 1903-2003, published by NASA in 2005. His most recent
book is America in the Fifties, published by the Syracuse University Press.

This ArchiTreats presentation is made possible by the Friends of the Alabama Archives
and a grant from the Alabama Humanities Foundation, a state program of the National
Endowment for the Humanities. The public is invited to bring a sack lunch and enjoy a bit of
Alabama history.