Ethnic Heritage Museum exhibit pays tribute to Fred Hutcherson III

Fred Hutcherson III

Staff Report

Rockford’s Ethnic Heritage Museum (EHM) will unveil the “Meet Fred Hutcherson III” exhibit from 2 to 4 p.m., Sunday, May 6.

Hutcherson, a long-time Rockford resident and former photojournalist at the Rockford Register Star, was featured in an article in the February 2012 issue of Ebony magazine.

Hutcherson is the son of the late Fred Hutcherson Jr., the first African-American pilot to fly across the Atlantic Ocean. He demonstrated outstanding service as a flight instructor at the Tuskegee Army Air Field, and the Tuskegee Airmen were collectively awarded the Congressional Gold Medal by President George W. Bush in 2006.

The “Meet Fred Hutcherson III” exhibit will display items and photographs revisiting their careers, their accomplishments and their contribution to life in Rockford.

Some of the photographs on display are compliments of the Rockford Register Star achives depicting memorable events in Rockford.

Included in the display will be some of the cameras Hutcherson III used throughout his career with the Rockford Register Star. Also on display is a bronze replica of the Tuskegee Airmen medal Hutcherson received on his father’s behalf.

EHM, 1129 S. Main St., Rockford, is unique in its blend of ethnic groups: African-American, Polish, Italian, Lithuanian, Irish and Hispanic. A visit to each gallery will enlighten visitors of the values and traditions of each of these groups.

The “Meet Fred Hutcherson III” exhibit will be on display until mid-September 2012. Hutcherson will be on hand Sunday, May 6, to greet visitors, explain the display and answer any questions. Admission is free to the public, but donations are appreciated. Light refreshments will be served.

The museum is handicap accessible. Group tours can be arranged by calling (815) 962-7402 or e-mailing For more about the museum, visit

From the May 2-8, 2012, issue

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