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

    Wright Brothers

    National Memorial North Carolina

Wilbur Wright’s 140th Birthday To Be Celebrated April 16

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Date: April 11, 2007
Contact: Outer Banks Group, (252) 473-2111

On Monday, April 16, 2007, Wilbur Wright’s 140th birthday will be celebrated at Wright Brothers National Memorial from 11 a.m. to 4 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.

11 a.m. - The event formally opens at the First Flight Centennial Pavilion with a welcome from Bill Harris, President of the First Flight Society and Darrell Collins, Historian Wright Brothers National Memorial.

Keynote speaker Paul Glenshaw, Director of the Discovery of Flight Foundation, will present Wilbur Wright on Film. This series of motion pictures taken during 1908-1909 depicts Wilbur demonstrating the Wright Model A Flyer in Europe and assisting his brother Orville in 1909 at Fort Meyer, Virginia. Wilbur’s exceptional piloting skill is on display in this rare footage as the Wright brothers ignite the imagination of the aviation industry worldwide. After the program, Glenshaw and Harris will cut the cake and sing "Happy Birthday Dear Wilbur".

11 a.m. – 4 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.

11 a.m. to 3 p.m. – Join 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.

12 p.m. - Bill Hadden, one of the builders of the authentic 1903 Flyer reproduction located inside the Wright Brothers Visitor Center, will present a detailed look at the construction and operation of the machine. Meet inside the visitor center flight room auditorium.

1 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.

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. – 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.

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.

This year’s Wilbur Wright birthday celebration is co-sponsored by the National Park Service, the First Flight Society, and Kitty Hawk Kites.

Wright Brothers National Memorial is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Call (252) 441-7430 for more information. The entrance fee to the park is $4 per person, children 16 and under may enter for free.

Did You Know?

Monument dedication with Orville Wright in 1932.

The Wright Monument is the largest monument in this country built to a living person. Orville Wright attended the Monument dedication in 1932.