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Happy Birthday, San Diego Air & Space!

Today, February 15, the San Diego Air & Space Museum celebrates its 50th anniversary of opening to the public. SDASM released its guidebook, Celebrating: a History of the Museum and its Collections.

SDASM first opened on February 15, 1963 in Balboa Park’s Food and Beverage Building. SDASM then moved into the nearby Electric Building in 1965, where it remained until 1978, when a fire destroyed the museum and its contents. The board, staff, and members, with strong support from the community, immediately began to rebuild and moved SDASM into the historic Ford Building in 1980, where it resides today.

Historic Photos of SDASM & the Ford Building

SDASM history

Ford Building under construction

SDASM history

Pre-Air & Space Museum exhibit in the Ford Building

SDASM history

Image of the Ford Building from the 1930s

SDASM history

SDASM was once called the San Diego Aerospace Museum

Today, SDASM is California’s Official Air and Space Museum, one of the four largest aviation and space museums in the country and home to the third largest aviation archives and library.

SDASM recently opened "Ripley’s Believe It or Not!." This is the first time a Ripley’s exhibit has returned to San Diego since the California Pacific International Exposition in 1935, the same year the Ford Building was built.

Learn more on the museum's website and see more of SDASM's archival images through its Flickr collections.

--Maren Dougherty