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

    Wright Brothers

    National Memorial North Carolina

Wilbur Wright’s Birthday to be Celebrated

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Date: April 10, 2006
Contact: Outer Banks Group, (252) 473-2111

On April 15 and 16, 2006, there will be a two-day festive celebration of Wilbur Wright’s birthday at Wright Brothers National Memorial to picnic, play, and have fun just as the Wright brothers would.

Wilbur Wright was born 139 years ago near Millville, Indiana, on April 16, 1867, the third child of Bishop Milton and Susan Wright. The event is co-sponsored by the National Park Service, the First Flight Society, and Kitty Hawk Kites.

On April 15, from 11 a.m. - 3p.m., on the hour, the Wright Experience and the Discovery of Flight Foundation will highlight the revolutionary advances the Wright brothers made after the first flights of 1903. Included in the talks will be a series of short films of the Wrights in flight, with recently released footage of Wilbur in 1908 and newly assembled footage of Orville in 1909. Visitors to the celebration can see an original Wright engine operate, have a chance to fly the 1911 Wright Model B simulator.

On April 16, at 2 p.m., Paul Jameson Wright, grand-nephew of the Wright brothers, will be on hand to reminiscence about his great uncles. Following the presentation, Mr. Jameson and Mr. Everett Tate will cut the first slice of birthday cake lead everyone in singing “Happy Birthday”. Mr. Tate is a descendent of the Tate family, which provided support to the Wright brothers. There will be a birthday cake and games for children. Suzanne Tate will also be on hand to sign copies of the children’s book about the Wright brothers that she authored.

From 11:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. each day visitors are encouraged to participate in a variety of activities being offered around the park. There will be a series of kite, paper airplane and other flying object programs and competitions. Each program lasts 45 minutes and prizes will be given out to all participants. Kitty Hawk Kites will also be on the grounds each day with feather banners, kite-making workshops and stunt kite demonstrations.

In the spirit of the Wright family birthday celebrations, visitors are encouraged to bring picnic lunches to eat at tables near the Pilot’s Facility and around the Monument. The National Memorial is open daily from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Call (252) 441-7430 for more information.

Did You Know?

Big Kill Devil Hill ca1900 (credit:Library of Congress)

Big Kill Devil Hill actually moved 450 feet to the southwest during the 25 years from the Wrights' first flight in 1903 until 1928, when the park was established.