by Dave Buchanan
An important part of aviation history had a brief layover at UW-Parkside in March. A nationally touring photo exhibit celebrating Italian aviator Francesco de Pinedo was on display in the lobby of the UW-Parkside Library March 3-12.
De Pinedo, a Commander Colonel in the Italian Royal Air Force, was a towering figure during the early years of aviation earning his wings as “The Lord of Distances” for his Homeric air journeys in the mid-1920s.
Attendees at the reception for Italian
Consul General Enrico Granara
review the Francesco de Pinedo photo
exhibit on display in the
The photo exhibit commemorated the 75th anniversary of de Pinedo’s landing of the first foreign aircraft in the United States. This milestone intercontinental flight of the seaplane Santa Maria touched down in the waters off New Orleans March 20, 1927, two months before Charles Lindbergh made aviation history with his non-stop solo flight from New York to Paris.
During the exhibit, the campus hosted Italian Consul General Enrico Granara. Granara thanked the university for making the exhibit available to area residents and reemphasized his country’s strong alliance with the United States. He addressed a group of about 60 people attending a special reception in the diplomat’s honor.
During its year-long tour of the United States, the de Pinedo exhibit
has been in Chicago, Madison, Wis., Houston, and St. Louis among other
U.S. cities. After leaving UW-Parkside, the exhibit moved to Detroit.
It will later land in Philadelphia and New York before returning to
the Midwest in June.