History & Culture
Wright Brothers National Memorial commemorates two ingenious brothers from Dayton, OH who, in 1900, choose the sparsely populated area known as the Outer Banks to conduct a series of experiments that three years later resulted in the world’s first heavier than air, powered controlled flight. The story of these brothers embodies the American ideal of hard work overcoming all obstacles. Wilbur and Orville Wright were not just lucky bicycle mechanics but succeeded because of study and scientific experimentation. Their story is the realization of a dream that had existed for centuries; it is not simply about building the first plane but rather about how they scientifically solved the problem. It is a story about those who inspired and those who aided the brothers as well as the coastal area of North Carolina before, during and after the dream came to life.
Did You Know?
Although the town of Kitty Hawk is always associated with the exploits of the Wright brothers, most of their flying experiments took place about 4 miles to the south on the sands of Kill Devil Hills. The town of Kill Devil Hills, where the memorial is located, was incorporated in 1953.