MacCracken and the Aeronautics Branch
William P. MacCracken, Jr., was the first head of FAA's earliest predecessor agency, the Aeronautics Branch of the Department of Commerce. In the upper photo at right, he is shown flying for the Army in 1917.
Returning to his civilian career as a lawyer, MacCracken became an advocate of Federal safety regulation of aviation. After this campaign succeeded, he became Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Aviation on August 11, 1926. On that day, MacCracken posed for a photo (above right) with his new boss, Secretary Herbert Hoover.