Plane from the Puget Sound Airlines School of Aviation, n.d., Records of the Port of Bellingham, Photographs, 1890-1999, Washington State Archives, Digital Archives.


The development of air travel has had a tremendous impact on transportation systems and economic conditions throughout the world.


Start with secondary sources 

Use secondary sources to gain basic knowledge of your topic, its significance, and historical context.

Ask a Librarian online at Washington State Library to get expert help in locating useful secondary sources. 


Then use primary sources

Use primary sources to deepen your understanding of the topic, and assemble evidence to support your own analysis and interpretation.

Ask an Archivist online at Washington State Archives to get expert help in locating useful primary sources.


Some key historical research questions:


  • How has aviation affected travel routes?
  • How has air transport and travel affected the economy locally and throughout the world?
  • How does the aircraft manufacturing industry reflect changes that have occurred in Washington’s population, economy and culture since World War II?
  • Who was William Boeing and why was he an important figure in the history of aviation?
  • Why was the relationship between Boeing Airplane Company and United Airlines important to the history of aviation in the United States?
  • What was the Dash-80?
  • Consider other possibilities for historical questions as you analyze and interpret this topic.


Back to History Day topic guide