Wilbur Wrights 141st Birthday to be Celebrated on April 16 Events Taking Place Throughout the Day at Wright Brothers National Memorial
Contact: Wright Brothers Natl Mem, (252) 441-7430
On Wednesday, April 16, Wilbur Wright’s 141st birthday will be celebrated at Wright Brothers National Memorial from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. This festive celebration will be a full day of family fun, play, picnic, and learning just as the Wright brothers had at their own birthday celebrations more than 100 years ago. The event is free and open to the public.
9 a.m. – The event opens at the First Flight Centennial Pavilion with a welcome by the National Park Service. Special guest speaker Tom Cherry, a Wilbur Wright impersonator, will present a special program "Never Give Up" for all school age children, including Wright Flight students of Dare County. After the program Mr. Cherry will cut the birthday cake and lead the audience in round of "Happy Birthday".
10 a.m. to 3 p.m. - The public is invited to participate in kite building, kite flying demonstration and hang-gliding simulation by Kitty Hawk Kites; hand-on activities and demonstration by NASA; and flight experiments by the Wright Experience, all taking place inside the park’s First Flight Centennial Pavilion.
10 a.m. to 1 p.m. - History comes alive with descendents of the original crew of the Kill Devil Hills Life Saving Service Station at the Wright brother’s original campsite as they tell stories about life at Kitty Hawk.
10 a.m. - Learn how the Wright brothers solved the problems of human flight as a National Park Service Ranger tells the story of their triumph at Kitty Hawk inside the visitor center flight room auditorium.
12 p.m. - Kevin Kochersberger, the pilot of the 1903 Wright Flyer reproduction that attempted flight at the Centennial of Flight Celebration in 2003, will present a detailed look at the construction and operation of the 1903 Wright Flyer. The reproduction, located inside the park’s visitor center, was built by the Wright Experience and donated to the National Park Service by Harry Combs. Meet inside the visitor center flight room auditorium.
1 p.m. - The Wright Experience presents The Wright’s in Filmhighlighting the Wright brothers’ early days of motion pictures. Their triumphs in 1908 and 1909, the Wright exhibition team airshows, flights over New York City and Orville’s last known flight as a pilot. The people, places and planes of the Wrights’ story are captured on film and radio at this presentation in the First Flight Centennial Pavilion.
2 p.m. - Step back in history with a National Park Service Ranger during a short walk from the visitor center to the actual site of the world’s first powered flight. Meet on the back patio of the Wright Brothers Visitor Center.
3 p.m. - Wilbur Wright in His Own Words, a narrative slide presentation taken from the Wilbur’s letters and diaries illustrates the Wright’s curiosity, the engineering and scientific insight Wilbur Wright brought to the invention of the airplane. This program is presented by The Discovery of Flight Foundation in the First Flight Centennial Pavilion auditorium.
4 p.m. - Learn how the Wright brothers solved the problems of human flight as a National Park Service Ranger tells the story of their triumph at Kitty Hawk inside the visitor center flight room auditorium.
Wilbur Wright was born 140 years ago near Millville, Indiana, on April 16, 1867, the third child of Bishop Milton and Susan Wright and the older brother of Orville Wright. Wilbur, the second American to fly, made his first flight on the morning of December 17, 1903.
Wright Brothers National Memorial is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Park fees will be waived for the event.
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.