State legislators from Ohio and North Carolina on Thursday defended the legacy of the Wright Brothers against a claim by the state of Connecticut that the first flight took place in the Nutmeg State.
Ohio State Rep. Richard Perales and North Carolina State Sen. Bill Cook, linked by a Skype connection, spoke from historically significant locations in their home states to rebuke a law Connecticut passed earlier this year that claimed one of its own residents, Gustave Whitehead, flew two years earlier than the Wright brothers.
They also released a statement signed by 34 historians, archivists, authors and others that said the available evidence “fails to support the claim that Gustave Whitehead made sustained, powered, controlled flights prior to the Wright brothers.”
Wilbur and Orville Wright lived in Dayton, where they developed the principles of controlled flight and built their first airplanes in their bicycle shop. They made their first flights at Kitty Hawk, N.C., at a location now within the town of Kill Devil Hills.