This finding aid describes records that are housed at the National Archives and
Records Administration (NARA) Pacific Region facility in San Bruno, California.
Although the records belong to the National Archives, San Bruno, as the regional
repository for permanent archival records of Federal agencies in northern
California, this finding aid was authored to the Web by staff of the NASA Ames
History Project (http://history.arc.nasa.gov).
The Ames Aeronautical Laboratory was the second laboratory of the National Advisory
Committee on Aeronautics (NACA). The NACA was created by act of Congress on March 3,
1915 and charged with the development of aeronautical research and testing
facilities to improve both civil and military aviation. By 1917 the NACA had built a
fully operational aeronautical research facility called the Langley Memorial
Aeronautical Laboratory near Norfolk, Virginia. By 1939, American political leaders
recognized that the world was heading toward war and that other nations had
surpassed the United States in basic aeronautical research. NACA leaders recognized
that the Langley laboratory had run out of space for new wind tunnels and was
straining the electrical capacity in the area. Thus, the Roosevelt Administration
forcefully endorsed a report from the NACA Special Committee on Future Research
Facilities, dated December 30, 1938, that argued for the establishment of a second
research installation near the West Coast aircraft manufacturers. The tentative site
suggested was the U.S. Naval Air Field and Army training base at Moffett Field in
Sunnyvale, California. On February 3, 1939 President Roosevelt transmitted the $10
million request to Congress for incorporation into the second deficiency bill. A
stiff partisan political struggle followed, however, and it was not until August 9,
1939, that the funds were approved as a part of the third deficiency bill.
Copyright does not apply to United States government records. For non-government
material, researcher must contact the original creator.
This collection is unprocessed, but otherwise open for research. A small amount
of materials may still have U.S. government security restrictions. Please
contact NARA prior to visiting.