|Wednesday, Aug 16, 2006|
In 1939, President Franklin D. Roosevelt established August 19th, Orville Wrightâs birthday, as National Aviation Day to honor the Wright brothers and all flying pioneers and heroes. This proclamation was the first national tribute to the industry that has given mankind the ability to cross oceans and continents in a matter of hours and to probe the reaches of outer space. Every year, National Aviation Day is celebrated at Wright Brothers National Memorial, the place where Orville and Wilbur Wright first achieved the miracle of flight. This year, on August 19th, the National Park Service and the First Flight Society are observing the day by celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Paul Garber Shrine, located in the Wright Brothers National Memorial Visitor Center, which was established in 1966 to honor aviationâs great achievers.
For the 40th anniversary of the shrine, Keynote Speaker Margo Brown, Dr. Garberâs assistant and long time friend, will share her experiences of working for 25 years with Garber, the National Air and Space Museumâs first aviation curator and the person who was instrumental in acquiring more than half of the Smithsonianâs 352 aircraft. Dr. Tom Crouch, Senior Curator for the National Air and Space Museum and author of many books on the Wright Brothers, will serve as the Master of Ceremony.
Wright Brothers National Memorial Visitor Center is open from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm. The parkâs museum exhibits, park ranger talks, and special programs throughout the day will provide a lively atmosphere for enjoyable learning about one of the greatest scientific achievements of the 20th century. The special programs are: musical selections from the Outer Banks Senior Chorus and The Sea Notes Barbershop Quartet, special aviation related activities presented by Kitty Hawk Kites from 11:00 am until 4:00 pm, and a talk about the Wright brothers by Dr. Crouch at 2:00 pm in the Flight Room auditorium. Dr. Crouch will also be available to sign his books about the Wrights.