Janet R. Daly Bednarek


Department of History

University of Dayton

300 College Park

Dayton, OH 45469-1540

phone:  (937) 229-2824/fax:  (937) 229-2816





Ph.D                                        April 1987                    University of Pittsburgh

M.A.                                        May 1983                    Creighton University

B.A. (summa cum laude)           May 1981                    Creighton University


Major Publications:



Bednarek, Cities Take Flight: A Centennial History of the Municipal Airport (Kansas City, MO: American Public Works Association, 2004).

Bednarek and Roger Launius, editors, Reconsidering a Century of Flight (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 2003).

Bednarek with Michael H. Bednarek, Dreams of Flight: A History of General Aviation (College Station, TX: Texas A&M University Press, 2003).

Bednarek, America's Airports:  Airfield Development, 1918-1947 (College Station TX:  Texas A&M University Press, 2001).

Bednarek and Tom D. Crouch, eds., Proceedings of the National Aerospace Conference (Dayton, OH:  Wright State University Press, 1999).

Bednarek, ed., The Enlisted Experience:  A Conversation with the Chief Master  Sergeants of the Air Force (Washington, D.C.:  Air Force History and Museums Program, 1995).

Daly-Bednarek, The Changing Image of the City:  Planning for Downtown Omaha, 1945-1973 (Lincoln, NE:  University of Nebraska Press, 1992).


Articles and Chapters:

Bednarek, ""Creating an 'Image Center': Reimagining Omaha's Downtown and Riverfront, 1986-2003," Nebraska History, Vol. 90, No. 4 (Winter 2009): 190-207.

**Reprinted in Connolly, J. J. (Ed.), After the Factory: Reinventing America's Small Industrial Cities (Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield, 2010).

Bednarek, "Layer upon Layer: Public Authorities and Airport Ownership and Management in St. Louis, 1947-1980," Journal of Planning History, Vol. 8, No. 1 (February 2009): 3-26.

Bednarek, “The Flying Machine in the Garden: Parks and Airports, 1918-1938,” Technology and Culture, Vol. 46, No. 2 (April 2005): 350-373.

** Reprinted in Jones, ed., The Best American History Essays 2007 (Organization of American Historians and Palgrave, 2007).

Bednarek, “Fond of Flying: General Aviation,” in Jonathan Coopersmith and Roger Launius, editors, Taking Off:  A Century of Manned Flight (Reston, VA: American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, 2003).

Daly Bednarek, "City Planning and Municipal Airports, 1927-1940," Planning Perspectives, V. 15 (October 2000), pp. 349-75.

Daly Bednarek, "Innovation in America's Aviation Support Infrastructure:  The Evolving Relationship between Airports, Cities, and Industry" in Roger D. Launius, ed., Innovation and the Development of Flight (College Station, TX:  Texas A & M University Press, 1999), pp. 52-79.

Daly Bednarek, "False Beacon:  Regional Planning and the Location of Dayton's Municipal Airport," Ohio History, Vol. 106 (Summer-Autumn 1997), pp. 124-45.

Daly Bednarek, "From the Baysdorfers to the Strategic Air Command:  Aviation Dreams in Omaha, Nebraska, 1908-1948, Journal of the West, Vol. 34, No. 3 (July 1997), pp. 39-43.

Bednarek, "'Damned Fool Idea':  The American Combat Glider Program, 1941-1947," Air Power History,  Vol. 46, No. 4  (Winter 1996), pp. 38-49.

Bednarek, "Not Soldiers--Airmen:  The Development of the USAF Enlisted Force," Air Power History, Vol. 39, No. 2 (Summer 1992), pp. 25-31.

Daly, "Zoning:  Its Historical Context and Importance in the Development of Pittsburgh, 1900-1923," The Western Pennsylvania Historical Magazine, Vol. 71, No. 2 (April 1988), pp. 99-125.

Daly, "Early City Planning Efforts in Omaha, 1914-1920," Nebraska History, Vol. 60, No. 1 (Spring 1985), pp. 48-73.


Other Publications:

Bednarek, “Open Sky: The Broad Range of Recent Scholarship in Aviation History” in Norton, P., Mom, G., Millward, L., Flonneau, M., Errazuirz, T.(eds), T2M Yearbook: Mobility in History (New York, 2013), pp. 89-94.

Bednarek, “If You Build It Will They Come?” APWA Reporter 80 (September ): 18.

Bednarek, “A Brief History of Airports,” APWA Reporter 78 (July 2011): 53. 

Bednarek, “Sustainability on Campus: Teaching sustainable (and humanitarian) engineering,” APWA Reporter 79 (May 2012): 74-75.

Bednarek,  “Building the Aviation Infrastructure: A brief history of the Aviation Trust Fund.” APWA Reporter 79 (June 2012): 83. 

Bednarek, ed., Generations of Chevrons: An Enlisted History Through the Experiences of the Chief Master Sergeants of the Air Force (Washington, D.C.: Air Force History and Museums Program, 2004).

Bednarek, "Lost Opportunities and False Beacons:  The Failure of Planning in Dayton, Ohio," Proceedings of the Sixth National Conference on American Planning History (Hilliard, OH:  The Society for American City and Regional Planning History, 1995), pp. 858-75.

Bednarek with Lois E. Walker and Henry M. Narducci, Strength Through Support:  The 2750th Air Base Wing and Wright-Patterson AFB in Operations Desert Shield And Desert Storm, Vol. I:  Narrative (Wright-Patterson AFB, OH:  Air Force Logistics Command, 1 November 1993), 115 pp.

Daly, "Urban Visions:  City Planning in Twentieth Century Omaha," (Douglas County Historical Society-Criss Memorial Foundation, 1988), 20 pp.


Book Reviews and Review Essays:

Review of Harwood and Fogel, Quest for Flight: John J. Montgomery and the Dawn of Aviation in the West in Western Historical Quarterly XLIV (Autumn ): 359.

Review of Bubb, Landing in Las Vegas: Commercial Aviation and the Making of a Tourist City and Westwick, ed., Blue Sky Metropolis: The Aerospace Century in Southern California in Pacific Historical Review 80 (August): 475-478.

Review Essay, "Transportation Infrastructure: Making the Invisible, Visible," in Journal of Planning History 11 (May 2012): 179-186. 

Review of Lukas, Theme Park in Technology and Culture 51 (January 2010): 270-72. 

Review of Call, Selling Airpower: Military Aviation and American Popular Culture after World War II in Pacific Historical Review 79 (May 2010): 310-11. 

Review of Eller, Piedmont Airlines: A Complete History, 1948-1989 in Journal of Southern History 76 (May 2010): 496-7.

Review of Gillespie, Finding Amelia: The True Story of the Earhart Disappearance in The Historian, Vol. 70, No. 1 (Spring 2008): 110-111,

Review of Smith, Subterranean Fire: A History of Working-Class Radicalism in the United States in The Historian, Vol. 70, No. 1 (Spring 2008): 124-125.

Review of Schreiner, Aviation’s Greatest Recruiter: Cleveland’s Ed Packard in History Review of New Books Vol. 34, No. 2 (Winter 2006): 37-38.

Review of Langewiesche, America from the Air: An Aviator’s Story in Technology and Culture, Vol. 46, No. 1 (January 2005): 227-228.

Review of Jakle and Sculle, Lots of Parking: Land Use in a Car Culture in History: Review of New Books, Vol. 33, No. 2 (Winter 2005): 54.

Review of Singer, Bayla, Like Sex with Gods: An Unorthodox History of Flying in History Review of New Books, Vol. 32 (Winter 2004): 81-82.

Review of Young, Chicago Aviation: An Illustrated History in Journal of Illinois History Vol. 6, No. 3 (Autumn 2003): 322-23.

Review of van der Linden, Airlines and Air Mail: The Post Office and the Birth of the Commercial Aviation Industry in Technology and Culture Vol. 44, No. 1 (January 2003), pp. 182-3.

Review of Jakab and Young, eds., The Published Writings of Wilbur and Orville Wright in Technology And Culture Vol. 43, No. 3 (July 2002), pp. 639-40.

Review of Miller, Visions of Place: The City, Neighborhoods, Suburbs, and Cincinnati’s Clifton, 1850-2000 in The Filson History Quarterly Vol. 76, No. 2 (Spring 2002), pp. 211-3.

Review of Raines, Eyes of the Artillery:  The Origins of Modern U.S. Army Aviation in World War II in History:  Review of New Books, Vol. 20, No. 2 (Winter 2001), p. 54.

Review of Gara and Gara, A Few Small Candles:  War Resisters of World War II Tall Their Stories, H-Ohio (March 2000).

Review of Spenser, Whirlybirds:  A History of the U.S. Helicopter Pioneers in Public History, Vol. 21, No. 4 (Fall 1999), pp. 83-4.

Review of Miller and Tucker, Changing Plans for America's Inner Cities:  Cincinnati's Over-the-Rhine and Twentieth-Century Urbanism in Journal of the American Planning Association, Vol. 65, No. 1 (Winter 1999), pp. 125-6.

Review of Teaford, Post-Suburbia:  Government and Politics in the Edge Cities in The Michigan Historical Review, Vol. 24, No. 1 (Spring 1998), pp. 190-1.

Review of Lewis, A Few of the First:  Thirteen First-Hand Accounts of Flying in the RFC and RNAS during the First World War in History:  Review of New Books, Vol. 26, No. 3 (Spring 1998), p. 150.

Review of Stephenson, Visions of Eden:  Environmentalism, Urban Planning, and City Building in St. Petersburg, Florida, 1900-1995 in American Historical Review, Vol. 103, No. 5, (December 1998), 1715-6.

Review of Harrison, Mastering the Skies:  A History of Aviation from Ancient Times to the Present in History:  Review of New Books, Vol. 25, No. 4 (Summer 1997), p. 8.

Review of McShane, Down the Asphalt Path:  The Automobile and the American City in History:  Review of New Books, Vol. 25, No. 1 (Fall 1996), p. 10.

Review of Jessup and Ketz, eds., Encyclopedia of the American Military in History:  Review of New Books, Vol. 23, No. 4 (Summer 1995), pp. 155-6.

Review of Rishel, ed., American Cities and Towns:  Historical Perspectives in Planning Perspectives:  An International Journal of History, Planning and the Environment, Vol. Nine, No. One (Jan 1994), pp. 113-5.

Review of Arbon, They Also Flew:  The Enlisted Pilot Legacy, 1912-1942 in Air Power History, vol. 71, No. 3 (Fall 1992), p. 53-4.

Review of Olsen and Roberts, Where the Domino Fell:  America and Vietnam, 1945-1990 in The Friday Review of Defense Literature, July 12, 1991, pp. 5-6.

Review of McKee, Lincoln, The Prairie Capital:  An Illustrated History in Nebraska History, Vol. 60, No. 3 (Fall 1985), pp. 323-4.


Papers Presented:

“Defining the Problem of Aircraft Noise,” Society for the History of Technology, Dearborn, MI, November 6-9, 2014.

“Unfriendly Skies: Airports and the Reshaping of the Metropolitan Landscape,” Urban History Association, Philadelphia, PA, October 9-12, 2014.

"Airports, Noise, and the Limits of Land-Use Planning," Society for American City and Regional Planning History, Baltimore, MD, November 17-20, 2011.

"Airports, Hijackers, Technology and the Fourth Amendment," Society for the History of Science, Cleveland, Ohio, November 3-6, 2011.

"Public or Non-Public: Airports, the Hare Krishna, and the Definition of Public Space," Urban History Association, Las Vegas, Nevada, October 20-23, 2010.

"Taking Cities and Regions into the Jet Age: The FAA and the Push for Regional Airports," Society for American City and Regional         History, Oakland, California,    October 15-18, 2009.

"Remaking the Downtown: New Strategies for a New Omaha, 1973-2003," Urban History Association, Houston, Texas, November 6-9, 2008.

“The ‘Third’ Airport: The Challenge of Building New Major Airports since 1945, An International Issue,” The International Community of Flight: A Centennial History, Wright State University, Dayton, Ohio, May 8-10, 2008.

“US Response to Sputnik,” From the Wright Brothers to Sputnik and Beyond, University of Dayton, Dayton, Ohio, October 4, 2007.

“Layer Upon Layer: Attempts at Regional Airport Planning in the St. Louis Metropolitan Area,” Urban History Association, Phoenix, Arizona, October 19-22, 2006.

 “Fond of Flying: General Aviation in the United States,” American Association for the Advancement of Science, Denver, Colorado, February 12-17, 2003.

“Small Cities and Airports,” Second Annual Small Cities Conference, Muncie, Indiana, November 1-2, 2002.

“Cities, Parks and Airports,” Ninth Biennial Conference on Planning History, Society for American Regional and City Planning History, Philadelphia, PA, November 1-4, 2001.

"History of Airports and Parks in the US in the 1920s and 1930s," at International Symposium on Flight, Raleigh, North Carolina, Oct. 22-25, 2001.

"Why Municipal Airports?" Cincinnati Seminar on the City, Cincinnati, OH, March 9, 2000.

"Airports and City Planning, 1927-1939," at Eighth Biennial Conference on Planning History, Society for American City and Regional Planning History, Washington, D.C., November 18-21, 1999.

"Dayton's Municipal Airport during World War II," Ohio Academy of History Spring Meeting, Dayton, Ohio, April 9-10, 1999.

"Airports and the West," 42nd Annual Missouri Valley History Conference, Omaha, Nebraska, March 11-13, 1999.

"The Problem with Commemoration:  Dayton and the 2003 Celebration," Conference of the Society of Historians in the Federal Government, Washington, D.C., March 18-20, 1998.

"Municipal Airports in the United States:  Sources and Themes," Conference of Historic Aviation Writers, Midland, Texas, Oct 31-Nov 2, 1997.

"False Beacons and Lost Opportunities:  The Failure of Planning in Dayton, OH," Sixth National Conference on Urban and Regional Planning History, Knoxville, TN, Oct 12-14, 1995.

"Business Leadership in the Miami Valley, 1900-1920:  The Legacy of Dayton's 'Almost Progressive' Era,"  37th Annual Missouri Valley History Conference, March 10-12, 1994.

"The U.S. Army Air Forces' Glider Program:  The Challengers of Conversion/Creation of Industry in Wartime with Particular Attention to the WACO Company of Troy, Ohio," American Airpower Heritage Museum and Midland College, International Symposium "A Sleeping Giant Awakens, Midland, Texas, November 11-13, 1993.

"Urban Visions:  City Planning in Twentieth Century Omaha, " Douglas County Historical Society, Criss Memorial Lecture Series, Omaha, Nebraska, March 15, 1987.

"City Planning in Omaha, 1945-1973," Northern Great Plains History Conference, Eau Claire, Wisconsin, September 24-27, 1986.

"Omaha's Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance of 1920," 27th Annual Missouri Valley History Conference, Omaha, Nebraska, March 8-10, 1984.


Current Research Activities:

Continuing a long-term project on the history of US municipal airports since 1945.


Scholastic Honors:

College of Arts and Sciences Award for Outstanding Scholarship, 2003-2004

Summer Research Fellowship, University of Dayton, 1997

Fund for Educational Development Grant, University of Dayton, 1994

Summer Research Fellowship, University of Dayton, 1994

Summer Research Fellowship, University of Dayton, 1993

Andrew Mellon Pre-Doctoral Fellowship, University of Pittsburgh, 1985-87

Maurine Hamilton Award for Outstanding Woman Graduate, Creighton University, 1983

Phil Alpha Theta Paper Prize, 1983-4

Allen Schleich Memorial Award in History, Creighton University, 1982

Membership, Alpha Sigma Nu, Jesuit Academic Honorary, 1979

Membership, Phi Alpha Theta, History Honorary, 1979


Professional Activities:

Executive Director, Urban History Association, 2005- 2014

Editorial Board, War and Society in the Midwest, 2009-

Board Member (President/President Elect), Public Works Historical Society, 2009-

AHA Representative to NASA/AHA Fellowship Committee, 2005-2007 (chair 2006)

Program Committee, International Community of Flight Conference, 2007-2008

Best Book Committee, Public Works Historical Society, 2006

Best Book and Article Committee, Public Works Historical Society, 2005

Best Book Committee, Public Works Historical Society, 2004

Aviation Mentor, National Park Service, Aviation Theme Study, 2004-2006

Committee Chair, Best Dissertation in City Planning History, Society of America City and Regional Planning History, 2003

Selected for UD Leadership Program 2001-02

Faculty Development Committee, 2001-

Humanities Base Representative, Distinguished Speaker Series Committee, 2001-2004

Chair, University of Dayton 2003 Celebration Planning Committee, 2000-2003

Program Committee, Ohio Academy of History Spring Meeting, April 2000

Newsletter Editor, Urban History Association, 2000-2005

College of Arts and Sciences, Dean’s Executive Committee, Fall 2000 – Winter 2002

Program Co-Chair, National Aerospace Conference, Dayton, OH, October 1998.

Higher Education Sub-Committee, 2003 Committee (Inventing Flight)

Board of Trustees, National Aviation Hall of Fame, 1995-

Board of Nominations, National Aviation Hall of Fame, 1994-

Committee member, Best Dissertation in Urban History, Urban History Association, 1997

Director, University of Dayton History Department Internship Program, 1992-