3 states, including NC, tussle over 1st flight - WHLT 22 Connecting the Pine Belt

3 states, including NC, tussle over bragging rights to 1st flight

Posted: Updated:
Wilbur and Orville Wright have long believed to have been the first to fly. Wilbur and Orville Wright have long believed to have been the first to fly.
KITTY HAWK, N.C. -

Ohio license plates proclaim the state is the "Birthplace of Aviation," and North Carolina plates say the state is "First in Flight."

But Connecticut says both states are wrong.

It says German-born aviator and state resident Gustave Whitehead was the first to make a powered airplane fly.

Now the three states are in a tussle over bragging rights.

Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy signed a state law last summer insisting that Whitehead flew in 1901 -- two years before Wilbur and Orville Wright, who were from Ohio, lifted off on North Carolina's Outer Banks.

On Thursday, Ohio state Rep. Rick Perales and North Carolina state Sen. Bill Cook held news conferences in their respective states to dispute Connecticut's action and reassert that the Wright brothers were first.

"It's important to protect the truth," said Cook, whose district includes the Outer Banks. "Nowadays it seems like there are an awful lot of people who are trying to rewrite history."

Perales is trying to pass legislation in Ohio to officially name the Wright brothers as the first. North Carolina already passed similar legislation in 1985, specifically dismissing the Whitehead claims.

"We don't want address Connecticut, but have to or history is lost," Cook said.

Australian aviation historian John Brown said he questions whether the states have even investigated each other's claims.

"It's legitimate for them to laud the achievements of residents of their states or persons who achieved things in their jurisdictions," Brown said. "I don't think it's appropriate for them to pass judgment, though, like when they repudiate someone else's achievements."

The Smithsonian is forbidden by a contract with the Wright brothers' estate to admit that anyone else was the first to fly, in part because they had previously fought off other claims.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Jones County Woman Found Dead In Woods

    Jones County Woman Found Dead In Woods

    Monday, September 1 2014 7:08 PM EDT2014-09-01 23:08:17 GMT
    Photo Courtesy Of Jones County Sheriff's DepartmentPhoto Courtesy Of Jones County Sheriff's Department
    JONES CO., Miss - After about 4 hours of searching Jones County volunteers found the body of 31-year-old Ashley Clark about 600 feet away from her parents' home. According to officials, Clark went missing after wandering off around 10 a.m. Sunday. Family members told Lt.. David Ward of the Jones County Sheriff's Department that she could have been under the influence, "she said she might have been under the influence of some type of unknown substance."Officials say after waiting overnight for...
    JONES CO., Miss - After about 4 hours of searching Jones County volunteers found the body of 31-year-old Ashley Clark about 600 feet away from her parents' home. According to officials, Clark went missing after wandering off around 10 a.m. Sunday. Family members told Lt.. David Ward of the Jones County Sheriff's Department that she could have been under the influence, "she said she might have been under the influence of some type of unknown substance."Officials say after waiting overnight for...
  • Col. Holden, first black to lead NC Patrol, dies

    Col. Holden, first black to lead NC Patrol, dies

    Friday, August 22 2014 6:07 PM EDT2014-08-22 22:07:34 GMT
    Col. Richard Holden of Cary, the first African-American to lead the North Carolina Highway Patrol, died Thursday.
    Col. Richard Holden of Cary, the first African-American to lead the North Carolina Highway Patrol, died Thursday.
  • Raiders tab rookie Derek Carr as starting QB

    Raiders tab rookie Derek Carr as starting QB

    Monday, September 1 2014 10:01 PM EDT2014-09-02 02:01:34 GMT
    Oakland rookie Derek Carr will start the season opener against the New York Jets, becoming the first Raiders quarterback to start the first game of his rookie season.
    Oakland rookie Derek Carr will start the season opener against the New York Jets, becoming the first Raiders quarterback to start the first game of his rookie season.
Powered by WorldNow

5912 Hwy. 49, Ste. A
Hattiesburg, MS 39401

Telephone: 601.545.2077
Fax: 601.545.3589
Email: newsroom@whlt.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.