If you need an excuse to go flying, Aug. 19 is National Aviation Day.
Remember the date, please. This obscure but official day of celebration offers a great reason to hang out at the airport, take a friend flying, or introduce someone new to our passion. Indeed, it would be a great day for a fly-in or air show at your airport.
National Aviation Day was first observed in 1939, having been established that year by presidential proclamation. Its original purpose was to recognize the contributions to aviation of Wilbur and Orville Wright and other pioneers of flight. While a better date might have been Dec. 17, the date of the first flight at Kitty Hawk in 1903, Aug. 19 was Orville Wright’s birthday and he was alive and well in 1939. Honoring him while he could still enjoy it must have seemed a good idea to President Franklin Roosevelt.
In addition to designating Aug. 19 as National Aviation Day, the original proclamation called upon U. S. government officials to display the flag of the United States on all government buildings on National Aviation Day and it invited the people of the United States to observe the day “with appropriate exercises to further stimulate interest in aviation in the United States.”
Start planning now to make Aug. 19 a day when all Americans can learn how much their airports contribute to their communities. Think about the ways you and your flying friends might promote your local airport this summer, and get busy, please.
— Thomas F. Norton