Wright Brothers Day


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Wright Brothers Day

December 17
It was on the morning of December 17, 1903, that Wilbur and Orville Wright became the first men to fly and control a powered heavier-than-air machine. Orville Wright took his turn at piloting on this particular day and his historic 12-second flight (120 feet) near Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, was witnessed by only a handful of observers. It wasn't until the brothers went on to set additional flight records that they received widespread acclaim for their achievements. Their original plane (patented in 1906) can be seen today at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C.
Although Wright Brothers Day has been observed in one way or another and under various names throughout the United States almost since the flight took place, the more notable observations include the annual Wright Brothers Dinner held in Washington, D.C., by the National Aeronautic Association. Celebrations are also held in North Carolina at Kitty Hawk and in Dayton, Ohio, where the brothers were born and where they opened their first bicycle shop in 1892.
Events on December 17 traditionally include a "flyover" by military aircraft and a special ceremony held at the Wright Brothers National Memorial, a 425-acre area that features a 60-foot granite pylon on top of Kill Devil Hill, where the Wright Brothers' camp was located. The flyover takes place at precisely 10:35 a.m., the time of the original flight in 1903.
A week of special events in 2003 marked the 100th anniversary of the Wright brothers' flight. There were aviation exhibits and programs, air shows and fly-bys, and visiting astronauts. An attempted re-enactment of the original flight, however, was thwarted by bad weather.
CONTACTS:
Wright Brothers National Memorial, National Park Service
1401 National Park Dr.
Manteo, NC 27954
252-441-7430; fax: 252-473-2595
www.nps.gov
National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution
Independence Ave. at 6th St. S.W.
Washington, DC 20560
202-357-2700
www.nasm.si.edu
First Flight Centennial Foundation
8845 Caratoke Hwy., Harbinger Center, Ste. 4
Point Harbor, NC 27964
252-491-5165; fax: 252-491-5172
www.firstflightcentennial.org
SOURCES:
AmerBkDays-2000, p. 834
AnnivHol-2000, p. 210
References in periodicals archive ?
On Wright Brothers Day, we remember the achievement of two young brothers on the Outer Banks of North Carolina whose persistence, skill, ingenuity, and daring revolutionized the world.
BUSH, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim December 17, 2007, as Wright Brothers Day.