1909: Flight Around the Statue of Liberty

Posted on Wed, September 28, 2016

Today in 1909, Wilbur Wright flew around the Statue of Liberty as part of the New York Hudson-Fulton Celebration, resulting in this historic Harper’s Weekly cover page. 

Harper's Weekly cover on October 9, 1909, covering Wilbur Wright's flight around the Statue of Liberty for New York’s Hudson-Fulton Celebration on September 29.

The event honored the 100th anniversary of Robert Fulton’s first successful commercial paddle steamer and the 300th anniversary of Henry Hudson’s discovery of the Hudson River.

More than one million New Yorkers witnessed the flight. Wilbur’s flight lasted approximately 33 minutes and covered 32 kilometers (20 miles). In case there was an emergency that required him to land in water, Wilbur attached a canoe to the bottom of his airplane.