Five fab history lessons you can learn while visiting TPA
History buffs and homeschoolers, come on down! Get your dose of everything from rock 'n' roll facts to 1920s Florida life.
Passengers and guests can get a fun dose of history while they're visiting Tampa International Airport, often finding it in unexpected places. Here's five areas where you'll get a blast from the past on war, music, aviation, Florida life and more:
Burgert Brothers Photo Collection on Level 2
Jean and Al Burgert were a couple of prolific photographers who chronicled some of the most significant events that shaped the Tampa Bay area and Florida from the late 1800s through the 1960s. If you’re over near the Delta Air Lines or Air Canada ticket counters on Level 2, check out a gallery of these cool photos, including an old New York Yankees spring training team photo with Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig and Peter O. Knight Airport, which the Hillsborough County Aviation Authority continues to operate at Davis Islands.
Tampa International Airport’s most often used elevators – the ones that connect to our Short and Long Term Garages – are all named after famous aviators who made major contributions to the world of flying, airports and air travel. Learn more about pioneers like the Wright Brothers and Tony Jannus from plaques located in the elevator lobbies, and get some visuals inside our Main Terminal/Short Term Garage elevators cars, which include portraits and famous quotes. Ride all four and elevate your MIND!
Hard Rock Cafe’s music memorabilia
If you’re into delicious burgers AND rock music history, you’ve come to the right place at the Main Terminal’s Hard Rock Cafe. On display throughout the restaurant are actual instruments, stage outfits and fun facts about some of music’s most popular bands and music artists. Check out an entire kit of drum heads once used by Chicago’s Danny Seraphine, a Lady Gaga latex outfit worn on her 2011 world tour and an Aria Pro bass guitar played by KISS star Gene Simmons.
American flag flown over Iwo Jima
The bloody, five-week Battle of Iwo Jima ended in U.S. victory over the Imperial Japanese Army during World War II, but not without a grave loss of life and a photo of one of American history's most iconic war images that showed six United States Marine Corps soldiers hoisting a flag on the island's Mount Suribachi. In 2010, The Armed Forces Military Museum in Largo presented this flag to TPA after it was flown over Iwo Jima to commemorate the 65th anniversary of that victorious moment. It has been displayed throughout the Main Terminal -- currently near Tech on the Go in the Main Terminal Marriott walkway -- and has more recently been used as a centerpiece during the Airport's annual moments of silence to remember the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
Master Plan Gallery
Can’t get enough TPA? Deep dive into both the history AND the future of America’s favorite airport and aviation in the Tampa Bay area that dates back to 1914. St. Petersburg and Tampa are actually considered to be the birthplace of commercial aviation, and the Master Plan Gallery -- located in the Main Terminal walkway toward the Marriott -- takes you through a timeline that includes the opening of TPA in 1971, events throughout the decades and 3D models of how the entire Airport campus will look when all construction is complete.
Want to learn more about the history of Tampa International Airport? Check out our historical timeline that dates back to the 1950s.