The Aerial Age Begins
1902-1907 1908 1909 1910 1910-1914 1932 1948
Photo of Celebration
Celebratory Medals
America celebrated when the Wrights retuned in May 1909.
When the Wrights returned to America in May 1909, they were greeted with the same attention and adulation that had followed them across Europe. They considered all the public appearances, awards, and celebrations a distraction and made it known that they preferred to quietly get back to work. They would have no say in the matter, however. America would not be denied honoring the nation’s new favorite sons.
Dayton Welcomes the Wrights Home
The grandest welcome for the brothers was the Wright Brothers’ Home Days Celebration in Dayton, Ohio, on June 17–18, 1909. There were receptions, parades, concerts, and fireworks. Wilbur and Orville accepted medals from the U.S. Congress, the state, and the city. Scores of elementary school children clad in red, white, and blue made up a “living flag” chorus that closed the ceremony with a song.
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“You made this discovery by a course that we of America like to feel is distinctly American—by keeping your nose right at the job until you had accomplished what you had determined to do.”
President William Howard Taft