Cleveland history program features nation’s first Black female air-traffic controller

CLEVELAND, Ohio – The International Women’s Air & Space Museum’s next “Dinner with a Slice of History” program will be “The Groundbreaking Experience of Sandra Durbin.”

The program is Friday, March 24.

Durbin was the first Black female air-traffic controller in the United States and the Navy.

When Durbin joined the Navy, she had a choice: Become an air-traffic controller or electronics technician. She will join the museum to explore her groundbreaking career, service and post-military service activities.

Dinner will begin at 6 p.m. The program starts at 6:30 p.m. Registration is required. In-person tickets include program admission and boxed dinner. In-person tickets are $27 ($17, IWASM members). Virtual tickets cost a minimum $10 donation. The museum offers a ticket bundle and discounted one-year membership for $55.

To register, go to or call 216-623-1111. Deadline to register for in-person is Tuesday, March 21. For questions, email

The program – supported by a Cuyahoga Arts and Culture grant – will be both in-person and via Zoom.

The non-profit museum – which aims to preserve, educate and inspire about the history and culture of women in aviation and aerospace – is located inside Cleveland’s Burke Lakefront Airport. Exhibits are free 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. with guided tours and programs by appointment.

The museum is at 1501 N. Marginal Road, Cleveland.

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