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Las Vegas McDonald’s owners/operators bring Tuskegee Airmen exhibit to Clark County students

March 4, 2013 by  
Filed under Community

by Kimberly Bailey-Tureaud

Ron Spriggs is an Air Force retiree.

The Greater Las Vegas McDonald’s Owner/Operator Association recently brought the Ron Spriggs Exhibit of Tuskegee Airmen to several Clark County schools, marking the fifth year of this historic presentation to Las Vegas students.

The exhibit showcases uniforms along with other artifacts and memorabilia related the WWII heroes who made a huge difference in the war effort despite the segregation laws of the time.

“We went to six different Clark County schools to give the presentations on the Tuskegee Airmen,” said Spriggs. “McDonald’s owners and operators sponsor the event each year … and we have probably made presentations now to over 15,000 students in Las Vegas. We present the history of the Tuskegee Airmen, and we explain the environment at the time as it relates to the Jim Crow era. The children really get excited to see some of the equipment used by the Tuskegee Airmen in their invaluable contributions during WWII.”

A few menbers of the historic Tuskegee Airmen.

According to Thomas Arlt, president of the Greater Las Vegas McDonald’s Owner/Operator Association, “We are proud to bring this exhibit to both Clark County schoolchildren as well as the public.”

Said Spriggs: “During my presentations, I try to fill in the gaps from the movie ‘Red Tails,’ which was a good action movie, but some facts were out of sequence for Hollywood’s sake.”

In many ways, Spriggs acts as a voice for the living Tuskegee Airmen, given that most are now in their  80s and 90s, making it is difficult for them to keep up the travel demands required to keep the history alive.

“Primarily, it is history that is untold,” said Spriggs, who retired from the Air Force and IBM, and now dedicates his life to sharing the story of the Tuskegee Airmen with adults and children across the globe. “History untold is history lost, and I am determined to keep the history of the Tuskegee Airmen alive. It is not so much that it is just black history — their legacy is American history. I am here to tell their story, someone who has researched and touched it.”

He added: “The African-American men and women in the armed forces and their success is directly related to the pioneering success and tenacity of the Tuskegee Airmen, and our country is in a better place because of their courageous efforts. Even Gen. Colin Powell admitted that he has ridden on the shoulders of the Tuskegee Airmen, which brought him to a level of success — and I believe that to be true.”

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One Response to “Las Vegas McDonald’s owners/operators bring Tuskegee Airmen exhibit to Clark County students”
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