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Air Force Museum Theatre celebrates Women in History Month

  • Published
  • By Mary Bruggeman
  • Air Force Museum Foundation

The Air Force Museum Theatre’s 2016 Living History Film Series continues on Saturday, March 12 at 4 p.m. celebrating Women in History Month. Filmmakers Kara Martinelli and Adam White bring Women’s Air Racing to the big screen with their new documentary film Beyond the Powder: The Legacy of the First Women’s Cross-Country Air Race. Dr. Terry Von Thaden, granddaughter of Louise Thaden, winner of the first Women’s Cross Country Race, along with Lin Caywood and Susan Beall, 2014 Race Team Members, will join Martinelli after the film to share their personal experiences and insight.

Beyond the Powder is a one hour film documenting the 1929 Women's Air Derby and the women who continue to fly the cross-country race today as the Air Race Classic. The film will highlight the societal and aviation challenges women faced in 1929, exploring the history of the race, while comparing the race as it is flown today. Filming wrapped in 2014, following that year's Air Race Classic, a contemporary race with over 50 teams of women pilots. Beyond the Powder is produced by Hemlock Films and Western Reserve PBS, directed by Kara Martinelli. Narration provided by Law and Order: SVU and NBC's Aquarius actress Michaela McManus.

The first Women’s Air Derby in 1929 was flown from Santa Monica to the finish line in Cleveland, kicking off the National Air Races. The eyes of the country watched as these brave women made history flying cross-country, breaking into a competition that was thought to be for men only. They encountered sabotage, death, and all the difficulties of flying at the dawn of aviation.

Today the Powder Puff Derby continues as the Air Race Classic. The modern day racers carry out the legacy of the original racers with their adventurous and rebellious spirit. Showing that they were more than just their make-up, the original Derby contestants have inspired those flying today to truly push beyond the powder.

The theatre’s March 12 event is the second of eight Living History Film Series events planned for 2016. The Series brings aviation history alive through films and guest speakers. The Living History Film Series is sponsored by Texas Road House and the Boeing Co. Holiday Inn Dayton-Fairborn is the official hotel partner for the series. Tickets are available at the theatre's ticket counter or by emailing for $10 per film ($8 for Friends Members). Discounts for school or youth groups are available with advance reservations.

The theatre is operated by the Air Force Museum Foundation, Inc., a Section 501(c)(3) private, non-profit organization that assists the Air Force in the development and expansion of the facilities of the National Museum of the United States Air Force. For more information on the Air Force Museum Foundation, visit The Air Force Museum Foundation is not part of the Department of Defense or any of its components and it has no governmental status.

The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, located at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton, Ohio, is the world’s largest military aviation museum. With free admission and parking, the museum features more than 360 aerospace vehicles and missiles and thousands of artifacts amid more than 19 acres of indoor exhibit space. Each year about one million visitors from around the world come to the museum. For more information, visit


NOTE TO PUBLIC: For more information, please contact the Air Force Museum Theatre at (937) 253-4629 or visit or email

NOTE TO MEDIA: For more information on the Air Force Museum Theatre, contact Mary Bruggeman, Chief, Attractions Operations, (937) 656-9623,