Wright Brothers Day; Obama Signs Proclamation Honoring Aviation Pioneers [Video]

Aviation fans have been celebrating Wright Brothers Day on December 17th for decades to honor the historic first flight of Wilbur and Orville Wright, but now it’s official. President Obama signed a proclamation earlier this week officially declaring December 17th Wright Brothers Day.

The president writes:

“On December 17, 1903, Wilbur and Orville Wright helped inspire a century of progress and groundbreaking ideas.. Congress, by a joint resolution… has designated December 17 of each year as “Wright Brothers Day.” NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim December 17, 2011, as Wright Brothers Day.”

The Wright Brothers, from Dayton Ohio, achieved 12 seconds of flight on December 17th, 1903. They traveled over 100 feet on their first flight, but more importantly, they proved that flight was possible. The Wright Brothers’ Flyer was made of wood, cloth, and was powered by a four-cylinder engine that they had designed, and funded, themselves.

The White House writes:

“During the 12 seconds their aircraft remained aloft in Kitty Hawk’s gusty headwinds, Wilbur and Orville Wright sparked a transportation revolution and fulfilled a dream shared across cultures since time immemorial. Today, we commemorate their extraordinary feat and celebrate the spirit of American innovation that propels our Nation toward bold new horizons.”

Here’s a documentary about the Wright Brothers from PBS.

Wilbur Wright described the flying experience, by saying:

“More than anything else the sensation is one of perfect peace mingled with an excitement that strains every nerve to the utmost, if you can conceive of such a combination.”

Will you be celebrating Wright Brothers Day this year?