It's official: Conn. approves bill writing Wright Brothers out o - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

It's official: Conn. approves bill writing Wright Brothers out of history

Posted: Updated:
Dec. 17 1903: The first flight by Wright brothers Ovrville and Wilbur, at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. Dec. 17 1903: The first flight by Wright brothers Ovrville and Wilbur, at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.

First in flight? Yeah, right.

That's the message from Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, who announced Wednesday that he had signed into law a measure insisting that Bridgeport resident Gustave Whitehead flew in 1901 -- two years before Wilbur and Orville Wright lifted off from Kitty Hawk, N.C.

“The Governor shall proclaim a date certain in each year as Powered Flight Day to honor the first powered flight by [the Wright brothers] Gustave Whitehead and to commemorate the Connecticut aviation and aerospace industry,” reads House Bill No. 6671, which passed into law as Public Act no. 13-210 on June 25.

The bill -- which also declares the "ballroom polka" as the official state polka -- was a vindication for Australian historian John, who unveiled in March what he calls photographic proof that Whitehead flew over Connecticut in 1901, “two years, four months, and three days before the Wright brothers.”

Brown told FoxNews.com Thursday morning that the ruling was an appropriate recognition of Whitehead's work.

"After peer review earlier this year confirmed the finding that Gustave Whitehead was the first person to fly a powered airplane (long before the Wright brothers), society at large has now begun commemorating this achievement," Brown told FoxNews.com.

"Since Whitehead was a Connecticut resident, it was only appropriate that the Connecticut Assembly and Governor led the way."

The Wright brothers soared into history books on Dec. 17, 1903, following their historic, 852-foot, 59-second flight at Kitty Hawk, N.C. -- an achievement for which the duo are widely described as being “first in flight.” But historians have long known that others were working on a variety of flying machines, including a fellow U.S. resident, German immigrant Gustave Whitehead (born Weisskopf).

Whitehead flew early in the morning of Aug. 14, 1901, Brown has claimed. His winged, bird-like plane was called No. 21, or "The Condor"; with wooden wheels and canvas wings stretched taut across bat-like wooden arms, it rose over a pasture in Fairfield, Conn. at dawn, and covered an estimated 1.5 miles at a height of 50 feet, he said.

Since Brown’s March revelation, controversy has swirled around his claims.

Historians with the Smithsonian Museum in particular -- curators of the Wright Brother’s plane -- continue to express doubts about Brown’s claims.

"I’m still absolutely convinced -- as I think most historians are -- that the Wrights were first, and Whitehead in all probability never left the ground," Tom Crouch, senior curator of aeronautics from the museum, told FoxNews.com in early June. Besides, history is factual, not based on laws, he said.

"You don’t legislate history. History is a process. People make up their minds based, I hope, on some thought given to the evidence," he said.

"And I think when people do look seriously at the evidence for the Whitehead claims, they’ll see that it falls apart."

Republican state Sen. Mike McLachlan told FoxNews.com earlier this month that he found the information convincing enough to present the bill.

"If more information comes along in history, we always change the history books. That’s been going on for years," he told FoxNews.com.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/science/2013/06/27/it-official-connecticut-gov-signs-bill-writing-wright-brothers-out-history/?intcmp=features#ixzz2Xmmb1dyu

  • Viral StoriesMore>>

  • Strong earthquake aftershock shakes Napa Valley

    Strong earthquake aftershock shakes Napa Valley

    Monday, September 1 2014 10:37 AM EDT2014-09-01 14:37:13 GMT
    A significant aftershock from last weekend's magnitude-6.0 earthquake has rattled Northern California's wine country. The U.S. Geological Survey says the magnitude-3.2 tremor struck 5 miles south of the city of Napa just before 2 a.m. Sunday.
    A significant aftershock from last weekend's magnitude-6.0 earthquake has rattled Northern California's wine country. The U.S. Geological Survey says the magnitude-3.2 tremor struck 5 miles south of the city of Napa just before 2 a.m. Sunday.
  • Lane marking mess on I-66 eastbound near Centreville, Va.

    Lane marking mess on I-66 eastbound near Centreville, Va.

    Monday, August 25 2014 6:20 PM EDT2014-08-25 22:20:44 GMT
    It was commuter confusion out on Interstate 66 Monday morning. Drivers heading eastbound towards Washington D.C. wound up seeing their traffic lanes suddenly turn into a mess. Lane stripes somehow pulled away from the road surface and created a mess of tangled tape and lanes that didn't make sense.
    It was commuter confusion out on Interstate 66 Monday morning. Drivers heading eastbound towards Washington D.C. wound up seeing their traffic lanes suddenly turn into a mess. Lane stripes somehow pulled away from the road surface and created a mess of tangled tape and lanes that didn't make sense.
  • New marijuana drug 'Wax' looks and feels like lip balm

    New marijuana drug 'Wax' looks and feels like lip balm

    Friday, August 22 2014 7:52 PM EDT2014-08-22 23:52:09 GMT
    It goes by the name Wax, Butter and Honeycomb on the streets, and it can pack a kick equal to 15 to 20 joints of marijuana. The new drug looks and feels like lip balm. It's made from the oils of marijuana plants and has a high level of THC - the chemical that produces a high.
    It goes by the name Wax, Butter and Honeycomb on the streets, and it can pack a kick equal to 15 to 20 joints of marijuana. The new drug looks and feels like lip balm. It's made from the oils of marijuana plants and has a high level of THC - the chemical that produces a high.
Powered by WorldNow
Untitled

WTTG FOX 5 & myfoxdc
5151 Wisconsin Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20016
Main Number: (202) 244-5151
Newsroom: (202) 895-3000
fox5tips@wttg.com

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices