Know Your Park ECU Students Present Research on 1908 Wright Brothers Events
Contact: Outer Banks Group, (252) 473-2111
Continuing the second season of the Know Your Park citizen science education program series, the National Park Service Outer Banks Group is hosting a presentation on the Wright brothers’ exploits of 1908 at the First Flight Centennial Pavilion of Wright Brothers National Memorial on Thursday, April 24 at 7 p.m.
This, When the World Went Aloft at Kitty Hawk in 1908, program will be presented by the East Carolina University (ECU) "Documentary Editing and the Wright Brothers" graduate student class and Dr. Larry E. Tise in conjunction with the opening of a temporary exhibit created by the students on their research of this topic. The ECU "Documentary Editing and the Wright Brothers" students include: Thomas Long, Nancy Muller, Kiana Pritchard, Michael Kegerreis, Ralph Scott, Mindy Spain and Bridget Wingate. Dr. Tise is a Wilbur and Orville Wright Distinguished Professor of History at ECU.
In April of 1908, the Wright brothers return to Kitty Hawk to prepare for a series of secret experiments. Their plan was to: test a new and much simplified flight control system, practice carrying a passenger for the first time and attempt flights of up to an hour in duration. But they were soon discovered. The world’s major daily newspapers sent a group of renowned reporters and a photojournalist to observe the Wrights in flight for the first time. It was during the course of seven days of highly secret flights conducted by the Wright brothers at Kitty Hawk in May of 1908 that the world was first made aware of the Wright brothers flying success. On May 14, 1908 these reporters witnessed world’s first passenger flight when Wilbur took his mechanic Charles Furnas with him on an airplane ride. On that day one of the reporters wrote in his diary, "one day Congress will erect a monument here for the Wright brothers."
The Know Your Park citizen science program series is designed to further connect the Outer Banks communities and residents with the rich natural world and cultural heritage of their neighboring National Park sites; Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Wright Brothers National Memorial and Fort Raleigh National Historic Site.
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.