On Thursday we headed to Charlotte. The city is still a mystery to me after about 25 years of flying in here. Despite all these trips I've never spent any time in the city. We read in the AAA guidebook that the Billy Graham Library is here, and it is very near the Carolina Aviation museum, the new home of the aircraft Sully successfully ditched in the Hudson River, USAirways Flt 1549, Airbus 320. First we went to see Billy. The picture at the right is the house Billy grew up in restored to around the time of Billy going off to college. Billy's dad was a dairy farmer as were his brothers. Billy too would have probably stepped up and continued in this business had he not attended a series of revival meetings by Mordecai Ham, who Billy gives credit for converting him. The library starts with the dairy farm, and goes through Billy's life in steps from some of his first meetings in LA, through the enormous crowds to whom he preaches in the large stadium venues.
The consistency of his message through the years is evident no matter whether it is his newspaper column, or a more modern media avenue. He is clearly the pastor that the Christian world looks to during times of trouble such as 9/11. The displays describe the millions of people reached by his ministry, and describe his ministry to the worlds leaders. No ministry of Billy Graham would be complete without asking every attendee to come forward to accept Christ.
Maybe He was with Sully on that day in January when US Air flt 1549 took off in NYC and almost immediately hit a flock of Canada geese, losing power in both it's engines. The plane was ditched in the Hudson river, and subsequently recovered. The flight is know as the "Miracle on the Hudson" primarily because all the passengers survived.
The insurance company that paid the claim donated the plane to the new Carolina Aviation Museum. All of the planes parts were gathered together ( from the NTSB, the engine manufacturer, etc) and it was shipped by truck to the planes original destination, and USAir's primary hub and headquarters, Charlotte. The picture you see here shows a number of dents, holes punched and a broken pilot's window, all due to the recovery operation. You can see some faint circles on the body. These highlight dents caused by bird strikes.