I got sent this by some advocates, apparently the Courthouse Museum is taking down the exhibit;

Quick. Call the museum (605-367-4210) to ask how much time people have to see the exhibit on the Army Airforce Technical School.

It was an important part of Sioux Falls history that had a big impact on our city.  The maps, then and now, are amazing. I used to say 25,000 servicemen trained there, but I think the exhibit says something more like 45,000.

The exhibit should be moved, not just torn down, to a place where it can continue to be an educational piece for the public. (maybe an airport concourse?) People should know.

8 Thoughts on “Save the Army Airforce Technical School Exhibit

  1. History Nerd on February 7, 2024 at 10:03 pm said:

    There should be a party bus tour that drives around town looking for barracks from that base that still exist in town (although moved) and are still used (primarily for housing). I know there’s one near Edison Middle School. Augie, until about 10 plus years ago, used to have I believe two for their social science department, and then there’s one just off of 33rd (Northside) about two blocks from the Augie campus…. But what would we call this tour?….. Beer, Buses, & Barracks?…. Oh, and doesn’t Augie still have one off of Grange that houses their anthropology department, or at least near there?

  2. "Woodstock" on February 7, 2024 at 10:08 pm said:

    “I think it would be cool, if on this beer bus tour a historic narrative could be heard, that is narrated by Barack Obama…. Maybe it could be called ‘Barack’s Barracks'”… 🙂

  3. Good memory tough guy, I used to go to shows at Augie’s former art galleries which were old barracks of the technical school. I actually liked the former galleries over the new one, they were more intimate, and pretty cozy.

  4. Mike Lee Zitterich on February 8, 2024 at 5:21 am said:

    Yes, from 1940 to 1950, the Air Force base added nearly 40,000 residents to Sioux Falls, and the continued development in the West Sioux Community, that helped develop West Sioux Falls today. It is a major history of the area today, that became first established in 1889, as a revenue-scheme to create revenue to fund, and preserve the University of Sioux Falls. Many of the former baricks still remain in the community today, many on Lincoln Ave, Elmood Ave, Kianis Ave, Sprint, Duluth etc. A Drive through through the former base, that stretched from Covell Lake to Elmood Avenue, and Alonquin Street to Burnside Street, one can still see former buildings and foundations for the baricks. The ARENA itself and Terrace Park are iiving testaments to the former base, and must be preserved today.

  5. Fear & Loathing in Sioux Falls on February 8, 2024 at 8:04 pm said:

    Augie came from barracks. Their new hockey arena looks like a big Marine quonset hut. Let’s fact it, theys some bad asses over there. So, it should prove good for their new hockey program, don’t you think?…. Now, if only I could score an Augie hockey jersey with the last name on it of Pyle.

  6. Very Stable Genius on February 8, 2024 at 8:09 pm said:

    My Mother graduated from Lyons High School in 1944. Next, she moved to Sioux Falls and worked at the telephone company (Bell) during the final years of the War. She lived off of 12th Street and close to Kiwanis. She used to walk to work part way and then took a bus into the downtown area back then. She claims there used to be a sign at Bob’s Cafe on 12th that said: “No Coloreds Allowed”. So, the next time you think, or read about Jim Crowe, don’t think it stopped at the Mason-Dixon Line…. Oh, and they weren’t talking about gangs back then, either.

  7. In fact, when MLK came to Sioux Falls, in January of 1961, to speak at the ‘Knife & Fork Club’ meeting, which was held at the Cataract Hotel, MLK was allowed to speak there, but not stay there. That’s why the MLK statue in town is located at Van Eps Park, because it’s close to the once home of a black pastor, who had MLK as a guest over night during MLK’s stay here. So, Jim Crowe was still around in good old Sioux Falls in the early 1960s and some 20 years after WWII, I’m afraid.

    Oh, and I don’t mean to put a damper on the history of the base, but I haven’t seen the display, yet, so how adequate of a job does it do In telling the story of military personnel stationed in Sioux Falls, who were of color, and how they were treated here back then?

  8. Thanks Mike, I forgot about the ones on or near Kiwanis. There used to be a couple across from the Zoo in a northeast direction and just south of 12th, but I think those have been torn down, but there still are, I believe, a couple on the avenue just east of the once Kiwanis ones.

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