Event Details

Learning Forum: Doolittle Raider

November 19, 2021  2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Learning Forums are thought-provoking presentations on a wide variety of topics. Each program features a 45-minute presentation, followed by an open forum with questions and discussion about the topic.

This history presentation is led by Paul Higbee and will be followed by a discussion with the audience. 

Eighty years ago, Don Smith of Belle Fourche ranked as one of America’s best military pilots, flying the just developed B-25. He was selected to fly one of 16 B-25s that made history by being the first to strike the Japanese home island during World War II, just four months after Japan struck Pearl Harbor. Named the Doolittle Raid for its leader Jimmy Doolittle on April 18, 1942, it was so daring that some American military leaders feared no flyers would return. But most did after crash landing or parachuting out in China. Next came the adventure of escaping China with Japanese soldiers in pursuit. Smith served as his crew’s commander both in the air and on the ground.

The event is included with museum admission - $12 for adults, $10 for seniors and half-off for members. Call 394-6923 to reserve your place.

Paul Higbee has written for “South Dakota Magazine” as their Black Hills correspondent and columnist for 30 years. He first wrote about the central figure in this presentation, World War II aviator Don Smith, for the magazine in 2002. Then he worked with the South Dakota Historical Society Press to turn his research into a book published in 2019. 

He is also the author of a book-length biography of Tom Berry, South Dakota’s “cowboy governor” of the 1930s. Paul is a graduate of Black Hills State University and the University of Notre Dame. He and his wife Janet live in Spearfish.

You can sit anywhere you like in our theater! The seating map is below. Seats marked ADA indicate wheelchair accessibility. Blue seats indicate space for foldout chairs, but those with ADA requirements take first priority.

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The Journey Museum and Learning Center regularly adds new events, exhibits, and features to the expansive museum, covering American history, Black Hills history, and Native American culture.

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The Journey Museum is currently in Winter Hours:

Winter Hours

(October 1st – April 30th)
10 AM – 5 PM Monday through Saturday
1 PM – 5 PM Sundays

Summer Hours

(May 1st – September 30th)
9 AM – 6 PM Monday through Saturday
11 AM – 5 PM Sundays


All individual admissions are good for two days with receipt.

Museum General Admission:

Adults (ages 18+) $10
Seniors (ages 62+) $8
Students (ages 6 – 17) $7
Children 5 & under FREE with family

Groups (10+ people):

$7 per person

Tour guides available. Please call (605) 394-6923 one week prior to visit to schedule.

Education Groups (12+ students):

$3 per student (all students 18 and under)
$5 College Students

Chaperones are requested. Special pricing will be extended to adult chaperones.

Tour guides available. Please call (605) 394-6923 one week prior to visit to schedule.