• The iconic first flight of the Wright brothers in their 1903 Wright Flyer

    Wright Brothers

    National Memorial North Carolina

109th Anniversary Celebrated on December 17

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Date: December 12, 2012
Contact: Outer Banks Group, 252-475-9000

On Monday, December 17, 2012 the First Flight Society and the National Park Service (NPS) will continue the tradition of honoring the accomplishments of Wilbur and Orville Wright at the 109th anniversary celebration of the first heavier-than-air powered flight.This year's theme is "Recognizing the 100th Anniversary of Marine Corps Aviation."The event takes place at Wright Brothers National Memorial and park entrance fees will be waived for the duration of the event.

Scheduled events for the day include:

·8:45 a.m. - Observance begins with a patriotic musical prelude by the Northeastern High School Band from Elizabeth City, NC.

·9:00 a.m. - the formal program begins in the First Flight Pavilion with opening remarks from First Flight Society President Geneva Perry followed by the Presentation of the Color by the US Marine Corps (USMC) Air Station Cherry Point.Nags Head Elementary School students participating in the Wright Flight academic achievement program will lead the Pledge of Allegiance and NPS Superintendent Barclay Trimble will welcome guests.

·Guest speakers include Charles F. Bolden, Jr. - NASA Administrator & Major General USMC (Ret) and Dr. Tom Crouch, Senior Curator of the Division of Aeronautics - Smithsonian Institution.The First Flight Society will pay tribute to Major General Bolden, this year's inductee into the First Flight Society's Paul E. Garber First Flight Shrine.

·A USMC aviation flyover will pay tribute to the Wright brothers and the Centennial of Marine Corps Aviation starting at 10:35 a.m. - - the documented exact moment of the Wrights' first flight.The USMC flyover will be followed by US Coast Guard and civilian aircraft.

·At 11:00 a.m. there will be a wreath-laying ceremony at the exact spot where the famous first flight occurred.During this event, the Wright brothers and the witnesses of the first flight will be honored by the NPS, members of the First Flight Society, and the descendants of the witnesses.

Throughout the day, the park's museum exhibits and activities provide an atmosphere of enjoyable learning about one of the greatest inventions of the 20th century.The visitor center is open at 9 a.m.The 25-minute interpretive talks take place in the Flight Room Auditorium at 1 p.m., 2 p.m., 3 p.m., and 4 p.m.Children are invited to participate in the park's Junior Ranger program.

For more information on Charles F. Bolden, Jr. and his induction into the First Flight Society's Paul E. Garber First Flight Shrine, please visit www.firstflight.org.

For more information about the event, call Wright Brothers National Memorial at (252) 441-7430.

-NPS-

Did You Know?

Orville Wright at Kill Devil Hill in 1911.

On October 24, 1911, at Kitty Hawk, NC, Orville Wright established a new world soaring record in a 50 mile-per-hour wind of nine minutes and forty-five seconds. This remained a world’s record for 10 years.