December 17, 2020: Schedule of Livestreaming Program
On December 17, 1903 the winds at Kitty Hawk, NC were high, but two brothers from Dayton, OH didn’t let that stop them. Orville Wright took the 1903 Wright Flyer into the air at 10:35am, Wilbur Wright helping to steady the wings. After four flights that day, the following telegram was sent home to Dayton: “Success four flights Thursday morning all against twenty one mile wind started from Level with engine power alone average speed through air thirty one miles longest 57 seconds inform Press home Christmas.”
In celebration of First Flight, organizations in both Ohio and North Carolina are joining forces to commemorate the occasion. The National Aviation Heritage Area, Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park, Wright Patterson Air Force Base, First Flight Society, First Flight Foundation, Wright Brothers National Memorial, and Outer Banks Forever will be livestreaming a joint wreath-laying ceremony and flyover, and will offer additional special programming throughout the day. Park entrance fees at Wright Brothers National Memorial in North Carolina will be waived on the first flight anniversary. Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park in Ohio is a free site.
Full Schedule: 8:30 a.m. Wright Brothers National Memorial Facebook Page - Wind and Sand interpretive ranger program. Step back in history to learn more about the first powered flight in human history and how it came to pass. 9:30 a.m. Virtual Celebration with a joint wreath-laying ceremony and flyover – Speakers include Brig. Gen. John P. Newberry, Wright Brothers National Memorial Superintendent David Hallac, and Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park Superintendent Kendell Thompson. Also featured will be the United States Air Force Band of Flight and Mr. Dan Patterson. Remarks will be followed by the unveiling of the Paul E. Garber First Flight Shrine portrait and a joint wreath-laying ceremony featuring descendants of the Wright brothers and descendants of the witnesses of the first flight. The flyover of the B-1B Lancer will occur at 10:35 a.m. to close out the celebration. Brig. Gen. John P. Newberry is the Air Force Program Executive Officer for Bombers, Bomber Directorate, Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Air Force Materiel Command, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. He is responsible for the sustainment and modernization of the bombers portfolio, which includes the B-1, B-2, and B-52. He is also responsible for organizing, training, and equipping the Center’s B-21 Systems Program Office. The Dayton, OH Wright Brothers Memorial was dedicated on August 19, 1940 with Orville Wright in attendance. The first anniversary celebration of first flight was held on December 17, 1978 and has been held annually ever since. The 88th Air Base Wing is responsible for the maintenance of the Wright Memorial. 12:00 p.m. Wright Brothers National Memorial Facebook Page - Interview with Dr. Tom Crouch, Curator Emeritus of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. 1:30 p.m. Wright Brothers National Memorial Facebook Page - Wright Legacy interpretive ranger program. Twelve seconds was all the Wright brothers needed to show humans can fly. Discover what inspired Wilbur and Orville and how they are remembered in the world today. 2:00 p.m. National Aviation Heritage Area Facebook Page – Video of Ohio elected officials’ remarks including Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH), and Rep. Mike Turner (OH-10). 2:30 p.m. Wright Brothers National Memorial Facebook Page - Interview with Greg Principato, President of the National Aeronautic Association 4:30 p.m. Wright Brothers National Memorial Facebook Page - Sunset view of Wright Brothers National Memorial, weather permitting. 7:00 p.m. Wright Brothers National Memorial Facebook Page - Livestream of the Kill Devil Hills fireworks at Avalon Pier. National Aviation Heritage Area Facebook Page Wright Brothers National Memorial Facebook Page