On December 17, 1903, Orville and Wilbur Wright made the first successful sustained powered flight of a heavy-than-air vehicle near Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. Surfman John T. Daniel of the U.S. Life-Saving Service snapped this picture when the Wright Flyer made its historic first flight.
“Original Wright Brothers 1903 Aeroplane (‘Kitty Hawk’) in first flight, December 17, 1903, at Kitty Hawk, NC. Orville Wright at controls. Wilbur Wright at right (First flight was 12 seconds)” By Orville Wright and John T. Daniels, December 17, 1903 (165-WW-7B-6); Records of the War Department General and Special Staffs; Record Group 165; National Archives.
OOTD is beginning a new series on the blog: “Dead Together” On occasion I will highlight well known individuals of historic significance who died on the same date.
Mohandas Gandhi - “Mahatma” (“Great Soul”) Gandhi was assassinated on January 30, 1948. He was 78 years old. Gandhi led a non-violent revolution against the British occupiers of India, eventually leading to Indian independence in 1947. Interesting fact: The same gun carriage that carried Gandhi’s body in his funeral procession would carry Mother Teresa’s body in 1997.
Orville Wright - Along with his brother Wilbur, the Wrights made history with the first ever manned, powered flight on December 17th, 1903. He passed away on January 30, 1948 at the age of 76. Interesting fact: He was the first head of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) which eventually became NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration).
When such records are stolen our shared history is lost and our ability to maintain accountability in our government is lessened. With your help, we can return our cultural heritage to its rightful place.
Happy National Aviation Day! Earlier this year, we were flying high (sorry, couldn’t resist!) when an archivist discovered this gem in the John Fenn Papers. Flugmaschine Wrightis the first sales brochure for a Wright Brothers plane, published in 1909 after the company secured exclusive rights to manufacture Flyers in Germany. Flugmaschine Wright even predates the American Wright Company and the catalog is extremely rare; in addition to our copy, OCLC only lists copies at the Library of Congress and U.S. Air Force Academy.
They had the Wright stuff. Today marks 110 years of aviation history thanks to The Wright Brothers and their daring leap of faith at Kitty Hawk, NC. Without Orville and Wilbur, where would we be today?
"Bystanders help extricate the mortally wounded US Army (USA) Lieutenant (LT) Thomas Selfridge from the wreck of the Wright Brothers Flyer after its crash at Fort Myer, Virginia (VA). At right, several men attend the injuries of Orville Wright, who lies on the ground at their feet, 09/17/1908”
Wilbur and Orville Wright’s Oath to Accompany the Patent for an “Improvement in Flying Machines”, 03/19/1903.
Item From: Records of the Patent and Trademark Office. (1925-1975).
Today is Aviation Day. To celebrate here are two famous aviators, Orville and Wilbur Wright’s signatures. They filed this document along with their patent for improvements to an un-powered flying machine.