Rep. Kathleen Rice Introduces Bill to Help Commemorate Long Island’s Aviation History
WASHINGTON – U.S. Representative Kathleen Rice reintroduced legislation today directing the federal government to study ways to commemorate Long Island’s leading role in the development of our nation’s aviation industry and preserve significant sites related to aviation history. The bipartisan Long Island Aviation History Act, which has been cosponsored by every member of Long Island’s Congressional delegation, authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to conduct a special study in order to evaluate the national significance of Long Island’s aviation history and assess ways to preserve significant historic sites, including by formally designating parts of Long Island as a unit of the National Parks Service and by identifying sites that could qualify for designation as National Historic Landmarks. The bill has been co-sponsored by the entire Long Island Congressional delegation.
The bill also directs the Secretary to evaluate ways to enhance historical research, education and public awareness of Long Island’s aviation history. The Long Island Aviation History Act was first introduced by Rice’s predecessor, former Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy, who developed the legislation after the idea was proposed by a resident of the fourth congressional district and National Parks Service volunteer named Adam Sackowitz.
“For nearly a century, Long Island played a vital role in the development of our nation’s aviation industry,” said Representative Kathleen Rice. “That history is an important piece of our identity here on Long Island, and it’s crucial that we always remember it – not only to celebrate the industry leaders and pioneers who came before us, but to inspire future generations to follow in their footsteps and ensure that Long Island remains a hub for ingenuity and innovation.”
“Long Island is brimmed in aviation history and is referred to as the ‘’Cradle of Aviation” for good reason, ” said Julia Lauria-Blum, Curatorial Assistant at the Cradle of Aviation Museum. “Over the past century, countless record-setting and historic flights have taken off from our airfields, thanks in large part to the aviation pioneers, innovators and manufacturers who call Long Island home. This bill will help us honor their legacy and the incredible role that Long Island has played in this vital industry.”
The full text of the Long Island Aviation History Act is available here. Specific sites highlighted in the bill include the Hempstead Plains and the areas surrounding Suffolk County Air Force Base, the hamlet of Bethpage, the hamlet of Port Washington, and the village of Farmingdale: