Richard Nixon photo

Proclamation 4257—Wright Brothers Day, 1973

December 15, 1973

By the President of the United States Of America

A Proclamation

Seventy years ago, on December 17, 1903, Orville and Wilbur Wright, two bicycle makers from Dayton, Ohio, helped to launch mankind on a new and exciting adventure.

Their historic first flight over the sand dunes of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, in a crude machine they had designed and built themselves, lasted only 12 seconds and covered a mere 120 feet. It represented, however, a critical step in a process which has revolutionized modern society.

The airplane's ability to move people and goods swiftly, safely, and efficiently is unrivaled. The social ramifications of this development, measured in terms of human mobility and global communications, have been boundless. The airplane has brought people closer together, and thereby has opened hitherto unimagined opportunities for commercial, political, and cultural exchange. While the airplane has worked to shrink our world in physical terms it has enormously expanded the human potentialities within it.

It is both fitting and proper, therefore, on this 70th anniversary of powered flight, that we should commemorate the achievements of two resourceful and farsighted men who have come to symbolize America's inventive genius. To this end, the Congress, by a joint resolution approved December 17, 1963 (77 Stat. 402), has designated the seventeenth day of December of each year as Wright Brothers Day and has requested the President to issue a proclamation inviting the people of the United States to observe that day with appropriate ceremonies and activities.

Now, Therefore, I, Richard Nixon, President of the United States of America, do hereby call upon the people of this Nation and their local and national government officials to observe Wright Brothers Day, December 17, 1973, with appropriate ceremonies and activities, both to recall the accomplishment of the Wright brothers and to provide a stimulus to the further progress of aviation in this country and throughout the world.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this fifteenth day of December, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred seventy-three, and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred ninety-eighth.

Signature of Richard Nixon


Richard Nixon, Proclamation 4257—Wright Brothers Day, 1973 Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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