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The Hallelujah Flight

author: Phil Bildner
illustrator: John Holyfield

Special thanks to author Phil Bildner for uploading this video to Teacher Tube
after we explained our district's policy to block You Tube from student computers.


This is one of the BEST book trailers Ms. Murphy has ever seen and it was created by students. Great job!








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In 1932 James Herman Banning and Thomas C. Allen completed the first transcontinental flight by black aviators.
Smithsonian Institution, Neg. ID #99-15420













Getting to know James Banning and Thomas Allen

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Listen to Engines of Our Ingenuity (episode no. 2230) presented by Dr. John H. Lienhard, of the University of Houston's College of Engineering. Dr. Lienhard presents historical information about aviator, James Banning.

Read about the life of James Banning-first black aviator to receive a pilot license from the from the U.S. Dept. of Commerce. He had to take one test because he was a black man and a second test to prove he was capable of flying an airplane.
James Banning Biography-African American Registry

Early Aviators
This website contains very good photographs of James Banning and his plane the "Miss Ames". It also offers a recommended reading list, and includes a memorial news article of Banning's accidental death during an air show in front of two thousand terrified spectators. Read and discuss the memorial notice (Early Aviators) and examine the word choices used. What type of thoughts crossed your mind as you read the news article at the bottom of the page?




bluebonnet_clipart.gifBluebonnet Book Club Activities

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Grand Canyon

In the story, Banning and Allen (The Flying Hobos), flew over the USA and were able to see the Grand Canyon, the Painted Desert, the Petrified Forest, and many small towns on their journey.
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The Painted Desert



CREATE a postcard of the Hallelujah Flight
Create a postcard from one of the places they may have seen from their cockpit or visited when they landed on the ground.
For the address you can list them as "The Flying Hobos" from California. Print out your postcard and draw your image on the front of the card or find an online image and print it out and attach to the front of your postcard


Bluebonnet Book Club Literature Connections

The ECDC Library has two very nice biographies for checkout about the life of Bessie Coleman.

Bessie Coleman Daring to Fly by Sally Walker
Brave Bessie Flying Free by Lillian M. Fisher

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Thank you for the education resources
Phil Bildner
John Holyfield
G. P/ Putnam's Sons-Penguin Young Readers Group
African American Registry
Clip art licensed from the Clip Art Gallery on DiscoverySchool.com
National Air and Space Museum
University of Houston-College of Engineering-Dr. John Lienhard