Lambert History Project

Purchase your copy today:


The history of Lambert–St. Louis International Airport is the story of American aviation. Everything that has taken place on the airport’s footprint—from Lindbergh to American Airlines, jet airliners to space travel—constitutes a microcosm of the triumphs and tragedies of winged flight in America. The Aerial Crossroads of America chronicles the transformation of the patch of farmland leased by Albert Bond Lambert in 1920 into the sprawling international airport it is today. Illustrated extensively with images from the airport’s history, the book tells not only the story of Lambert, but also the history of what it means to take flight in America.

Aviation expert Daniel L. Rust begins his story with Albert Bond Lambert’s pioneering efforts to promote air travel in the Midwest. While other American airports might today eclipse Lambert, Rust shows that airports serving New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago all lack the longevity of Lambert and its range of historic activity. In the book, Rust moves at super-sonic speed, covering the 1923 Air Races, Charles Lindbergh and his Spirit of St. Louis, the US Air Mail service, the birth of American Airlines, military aviation, the rise of the aircraft manufacturing industry, the development of air traffic control, regulation and deregulation, and the decline of Lambert as a large hub following the demise of TWA and 9/11.

Brimming with anecdotes, little-known historical threads, and lively explanations of just what Lambert has meant to the aviation industry, The Aerial Crossroads of America will be an invaluable resource for anyone interested in aviation, inspiring readers to glance out their windows and admire the view on every ascent.


The purpose of the Project is the creation of an in-depth, authoritative account of the history of Lambert-St. Louis International Airport and its relationship to national and regional history that will be accessible and interesting to a broad public audience. Lambert is the most historic airport in the United States, having been in operation continuously since 1920.  Its history is a microcosm of aviation history and American history during that period, and is worthy of study and exposition.

The Project has been undertaken by the Missouri Aviation Historical Society, a Missouri not-for-profit corporation in cooperation with the Lambert St. Louis International Airport Authority. Memorandum of Understandings regarding participation are currently entered with Lambert International Airport, the Missouri History Museum and the Greater St. Louis Air & Space Museum. The Project is organized by major subject matters and tasks.  Working groups will be responsible for research, collection of material and creating written work product, under the leadership of an Editorial Board and Editor in Chief responsible for coordinating the activities of the working groups:

Editorial Board: 
  • Dr. Daniel L. Rust, PhD Center for Transportation Studies, University of Missouri – St. Louis
Editorial Board: 
  • Dr. Frederick W. Roos, Washington University in St. Louis
  • Daniel J. O’Hara, President, Missouri Aviation Historical Society
  • Charles A. Reitter
  • Alan B. Hoffman


You can download a complete outline of this current project by clicking here

 Mid-Year 2014 update is now available for viewing. 

°Published by the  Missouri History Museum Press, with proceeds directly benefiting the Missouri Aviation Historical Society.