Celebrate Wright Brothers First Flight 110th Anniversary

Posted By on December 13, 2013

The 110th anniversary of the Wright Brothers’ first flight in what is now Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina will be commemorated this week with a full day of free events happening at Wright Brothers National Memorial, at the site of the Wilbur and Orville’s 1903 launch into history.

The Wright Brothers' first flight on December 17, 1903 in Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina, photographed by John T. Daniels.

The Wright Brothers’ first flight on December 17, 1903 in Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina, photographed by John T. Daniels.

On Tuesday, December 17, 2013, the First Flight Society and the National Park Service will continue the tradition of honoring the accomplishments of Wilbur and Orville Wright at the 110th anniversary celebration of the first heavier-than-air powered flight. 

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 a.m. – The formal program begins in the First Flight Pavilion with opening remarks from First Flight Society President Geneva Perry followed by NPS Superintendent Barclay Trimble who will welcome guests.  Speakers include Park Ranger Darrell Collins, Dr. Tom Crouch, Senior Curator of the Division of Aeronautics – Smithsonian Institution & delivering the keynote will be Louis Mancini, Senior Vice President for Commercial Aviation Services – Boeing.  The First Flight Society will pay tribute to William Edward Boeing, this year’s inductee into the First Flight Society’s Paul E. Garber First Flight Shrine.
  • 10:35 a.m. – An aviation flyover will pay tribute to the Wright brothers at the documented exact moment of the Wrights’ first flight. 
  • 11 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 National Park Service, members of the First Flight Society, and the descendants of the witnesses.
  • 11:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. – Meet and greet with members of the Wright family inside the Wright Brothers National Memorial visitor center.

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.  


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Posted by Matt Artz

Matt Artz was a lead reporter and photographer for 'The Coastland Times' newspaper from 2000 to 2009, and has been published in the Outer Banks Sentinel, North Beach Sun, Outer Banks Milepost, among others, before launching OBX Entertainment, NC Film News, and Halloween Daily News in 2012. Matt and Sue Artz are also the founders of the annual Outer Banks Halloween Parade and the Halloween International Film Festival.

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