The Dare County Board of Commissioners recently passed a resolution recognizing the invaluable contributions to the field of aviation that were made by Katharine Wright—younger sister of aviation pioneers Wilbur and Orville Wright—and urging the state legislatures of Ohio and North Carolina to pay tribute to her contributions on National Aviation Day, which is observed annually on August 19.
Established by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1939, National Aviation Day celebrates the development of aviation and is held on the birthday of Orville Wright, whose younger sister coincidentally shares the same date of birth. Katharine Wright’s strong character, practical advice and unwavering support for her older brothers’ endeavors to achieve flight played an immense and essential role in their ultimate success in achieving the world’s first powered flight on December 17, 1903 in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.
“It will never be lost on we who call Dare County home that those few words wired to 7 Hawthorn Street in Dayton, Ohio, on the fateful day that mankind ascended to the skies in powered flight were sent to Katharine, the brothers’ beloved sister, business manager and glue that held the Wright family together through good times and bad,” said Dare County Commissioner Danny Couch. “It’s time to acknowledge the critical role she played in achieving and sustaining the Wright family’s legacy, and the good people of Dare County take great pride in encouraging the nation and the world to salute Katharine Wright and the Wright family.”
In addition to acknowledging the need to recognize her incredible contributions to the world of aviation, the resolution also highlights the role of the First Flight Society, one of North Carolina’s oldest non-profit organizations, in promoting the history and future of flight. In partnership with the Dare County Regional Airport, the Kitty Hawk-based organization hosts a National Aviation Day celebration annually on August 19 at the facility, which is located at 410 Airport Road in Manteo, North Carolina.
“We would like to thank Dare County Commissioner Danny Couch and the other Dare County commissioners for passing this resolution,” said Mike Fonseca, president of the First Flight Society. “The First Flight Society is thrilled to see the recognition of the importance of Katharine Wright’s role in her brothers’ success.”
To view a PDF of the resolution that was passed by the Dare County Board of Commissioners, please click here. To view of video of Dare County Board of Commissioners Vice Chairman Wally Overman reciting the resolution, click here.
Wright Brothers Day: December 17, 2023 – 120th Anniversary of the Wright Brothers First Powered Flight
In partnership with the National Park Service, each year on December 17 the First Flight Society celebrates the anniversary of powered flight by hosting a free event at the Wright Brothers National Memorial, located at 1000 North Croatan Highway in Kill Devil Hills.
Aviation enthusiasts are encouraged to make their calendars for Wright Brothers Day, which will be held at 9 a.m. on Sunday, December 17, 2023—the 120th anniversary of the Wright Brothers’ first successful powered flight.
This year’s event will honor Walter and Olive Ann Beech, American aviators and early aviation entrepreneurs who co-founded the Beech Aircraft Company—now called Beechcraft—in 1932. The festivities will feature speakers from the National Park Service as well as a flyover, among other activities. For more information about Wright Brothers Day 2023, click here.
Wright Brothers Day 2028: December 17, 2028 – 125th Anniversary of the Wright Brothers First Flight
The First Flight Society is also in the process of planning a momentous occasion in partnership with the National Park Service to celebrate Wright Brothers Day 2028—the 125th anniversary of the Wright Brothers’ historic accomplishment that was achieved on December 17, 1903.
In addition to featuring a variety of speakers and aviation-themed presentations and activities, the 2028 event will also place a significant focus on the Wright Route, which extends from Dayton, Ohio—where the Wright brothers invented the first powered and controlled heavier-than-air aircraft—to the Outer Banks of North Carolina, where the pair forever changed the course of history by achieving their historic 12-second flight above the sands of Kitty Hawk.
“Every 25 years, Wright Brothers Day celebrations are larger than the regular December 17 events,” said Mike Fonseca, president of the First Flight Society. “The first celebration in Kitty Hawk was the 25th anniversary of the first flight in 1928. Wright Brothers Day events in 1953, 1978 and 2003 were multi-day affairs. The 125th won’t be the scale of the centennial, but it’s going to be something special.”
Additional information about Wright Brothers Day 2028 will be shared by the First Flight Society at www.WrightBrothersDay.org as the date of the event approaches.