While Pan American World Airways is long gone, the airline is unique among airlines, defunct or still flying, in that they have two non-profits supporting the preservation and public display of the organization’s history.
This November, the groups are working together on a Pan Am weekend of events, on Nov. 11 and 12, 2022. The events include the unveiling of a diorama of the Pan Am Worldport at the Pan Am Museum Foundation, founded in 2015 and located at the Cradle of Aviation Museum in Garden City, Long Island.
The mission statement of the Pan Am Museum is “to educate, celebrate, and inspire present and future generations by preserving historical and diverse personal stories of Pan American World Airways.”
There is also the Pan Am Historical Foundation, which has worked for over three decades to keep the institutional history of America’s pioneering airline alive, including papers, corporate records, marketing materials and other history.
Pan Am Weekend Set in November in New York
On Nov. 11, the Pan Am Historical Foundation will host a dedication at the Marine Air Terminal at LaGuardia in New York. The Terminal was home to the airline’s flying boats in the 1940s. During the era of the revival of Pan Am during the tenure of CEO Ed Acker, the airline returned to the Marine Air Terminal on October 1, 1986 to launch the Pan Am Shuttle, later the Delta Shuttle.
The foundation will dedicate three historical markers and a model of the Boeing 314 flying boat, now installed in the Marine Air Terminal’s rotunda.
Saturday, Nov. 12, the Pan Am Museum will hold a gala entitled Flying Down to Rio. The keynote speaker is Adam Aron, today the chairman and CEO of AMC Entertainment. Aron is also president of the Pan Am Historical Foundation. He is also a veteran employee of Pan Am, where he put together the WorldPass frequent flyer program. The musical guest is Capt. Beau Brant of United Airlines, who also a pianist. The DJ is Nicole Batchelor Regne, a former Pan Am flight attendant.
Other Online Efforts
The museum’s mission is to educate the public. To that end, they have not only worked to add to the museum, including a model of the Pan Am Worldport at JFK.
The Worldport, also styled WorldPort, was once the JFK hub terminal of Pan Am, and made famous by not only the Beatles arrival in New York, but in movies like Live and Let Die. It was demolished by owner Delta in 2014. This website unsuccessfully campaigned for the history of the branded terminal from 2006 until its demolition.
They have also been busily organizing their online presence, including the launch of the Pan Am Podcast, supported by Aron and hosted by Thomas Betti, the museum’s director of special projects & grants.
The museum is also organizing the video history of Pan Am on YouTube.
This year, the museum put the airline’s training videos on YouTube. The videos survived thanks to Linda Reynolds, who saved the VHS tapes from the Pan Am Flight Academy in Miami, Florida after the airline closed on December 4, 1991.
Particularly impressive, however, is a reel of all available Pan Am television commercials, assembled this year. Many of the Pan Am commercials were scattered about Youtube. This is the first effort to turn them into a watchable reel.
The reel includes the short lived, but beloved Jake Holmes “We Fly the World” Pan Am jingle. The composer/songwriter Holmes is the most successful jingle writer in American history. Holmes not only wrote the jingle, but sang it.
Below, a view of the commercials.