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The Royal Oak Historical Society Museum is a
 non profit organization
run by volunteers and funded solely by donations.

Exhibit schedule for 2016.


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Pancake Breakfast

We now have a street named in our honor.

Thank you Mike (left) and Tony (right) of the Royal Oak Department of Public Service.

Click Here to Read our Most Recent Newsletter

The American civil war
then and now
CIVIL WAR ERA PHOTOS...blended-in with Today's images...at the same, exact locations...totally amazing
Don't forget to listen to the narratives..................

End of the Civil War
Exhibit Runs through mid-May.

Sponsored by


President Abraham Lincoln and Mary Todd Lincoln
Presented by
A Lincoln Style


The Yankee Air Museum proudly announced Friday, April 29th the selection of John A. Clark, Sc.D. into the Michigan Aviation Hall of Fame (MAHF). Clark, of Ann Arbor, is a Professor Emeritus of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Michigan and an esteemed member of the Yankee Air Museum. His formal enshrinement will be Saturday, May 21, 2016 in ceremonies at the Michigan Aviation Hall of Fame, located inside the Kalamazoo Air Zoo, 6151 Portage Road, Portage, Michigan.

"Dr. Clark is one of the great aviation pioneers whose work and lifetime achievements are fittingly recognized with his induction in the Hall of Fame,” said Ray Hunter, Chairman of the Yankee Air Museum's Board of Directors. "John is a highly decorated, World War Two combat pilot. His passion for aviation and education led him to become a true rocket scientist and nuclear engineer."

Hunter, who co-authored the MAHF nomination, said that John Clark was born in Ann Arbor and grew up in Royal Oak. He graduated from Royal Oak High School in June 1941 and attended Lawrence Institute of Technology for a short time. Clark enlisted in the Army Air Corps when he was 19 and by the time he was 22 years old he had flown 32 combat missions over Germany in a Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress during 1944-45. After the war, his military service continued in the Michigan Air National Guard while he also pursued his education in engineering at the University of Michigan.

After obtaining his Bachelor of Science in Engineering, Clark continued his education at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, completing both the Master's and Doctor’s (Sc.D.) programs by 1953. His doctoral thesis dealt with safe power levels in the reactor core of the first nuclear submarine, the USS Nautilus. Dr. Clark then became a long term consultant to the leading nuclear industries including Westinghouse, General Electric and the Argonne National Laboratory.

"John is the real deal," said Major General Richard Bodycombe (USAF, Retired). "His work and research leadership contributed to the development of the Saturn V booster engine which is still regarded as the most powerful operational rocket today."

Bodycombe, who collaborated with Hunter on the nomination, explained that in 1957, Clark became a full professor in the University of Michigan's College of Engineering and established the Heat Transfer Laboratory. His graduate courses and research programs in thermodynamics contributed to understanding the transient behavior of thermal systems and discharge of oxygen during liftoff which made the huge engine possible.

In 1966, Dr. Clark became Chairman of the Mechanical Engineering Department and during the energy crisis of 1973 he established the UM's College of Engineering, Solar Energy Laboratory. By 1980 he was a leading expert on solar energy, thermodynamics, aircraft propulsion and space technology. He served as a consultant to corporations, universities, and all levels of government including President-elect Ronald Reagan’s transition team for energy.

"His record of contributions to aviation and science in a university setting are without parallel," said Kevin Walsh, Executive Director of the Yankee Air Museum. "Equally impressive is John’s superlative record for inspiring others."

As an example, Walsh cited one of Clark’s graduate students whom he appointed as an assistant professor the late Dr. Charles M. Vest who became Dean of Engineering at the University of Michigan and went on to be the longest serving President of MIT. Walsh said that inspiration continues through a scholarship fund John and his late wife Marie Mountain Clark established. This scholarship is funded for 20 years and is awarded on an annual basis by the Yankee Air Museum to a deserving high school or home study student.

John's late wife was recently selected posthumously for entry into the Iowa Aviation Hall of Fame. Marie was a Woman’s Air Force Service Pilot (WASP) during World War ll. John and Marie met in Las Vegas, NV where he was training in B-17’s prior to his assignment to the 100th Bomb Group in England. The 100th was known as the “Bloody 100th" because of heavy combat losses.

"John is an officer and a gentleman said Ray Hunter. "He is a scholar, author and educator. He is the consummate aviator, scientist, and good friend to everyone he meets. He joins a select group of current and former aviators for enshrinement in the Michigan Aviation Hall of Fame."

The YAM and the MAHF are encouraging the public to join in celebrating Dr. John A. Clark and other award recipients. The 2016 MAHF Enshrinement Ceremony is scheduled for Saturday evening, May 21 beginning at 5:30 pm. The event will be held at the Air Zoo, 6151 Portage Road, Portage Ml 49002. Tickets are $75.00 and include dinner and the program. Tickets can be obtained by calling Maria Suszynski at 269-350-2812, or online by visiting the www.airzoo.org website.

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We are happy to accommodate Boy and
Girl Scout troops, Cub Scouts, and
Brownies for private tours.  The Museum is a great learning activity for the Classroom or any
Club or Organization.
To arrange for a group tour on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays please contact
the Curator by phone,
248-439-1501 or email curator@royaloakhistoricalsociety.org

The Historical Museum is always looking for
photos of Royal Oak, from the 1800's to the
1980's, to add to our archives. We are seeking
views of businesses, historic homes,
prominent people, and public buildings,
in Royal Oak and along historic
Woodward Ave. 

If you have any photos to share with us
please contact us at the Museum. 

248.439.1501 or via email at: curator@royaloakhistoricalsociety.org

If you would like to submit a column about
Royal Oak history, or growing up in Royal Oak
please contact Muriel by phone at 248.439.1501 or
via email at:

The Royal Oak Historical Society emails:



The Historical Society Museum
at the

Northwood Fire Station
1411 W Webster at Crooks
Royal Oak, MI 48072

Click to View Map

Tuesday, Thursday,
and Saturday
1 p.m. - 4 p.m.

Historical Society Museum
Gift Shop

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