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Wright Flyer
The Centennial of Flight Commemoration Act
In 1998, the United States Congress passed the Centennial of Flight Commemoration Act, Public Law 105-389, 105th Congress (Nov. 13, 1998), as amended by Public Law 106-68, 106th Congress (Oct. 6, 1999).

This law established the U.S. Centennial of Flight Commission to assist in the commemoration of the centennial of powered flight and the achievements of the Wright brothers' first powered flight at Kill Devil Hills, N.C., on December 17, 1903, and to serve as a national and international source of information for activities commemorating this historic event. Congress also intends that the Commission encourage more than a celebration of this single achievement, to include a commemoration of the full 100 years of aviation history that followed.

Under this mandate, the Commission plans to coordinate and encourage national and international celebrations of the Wright brothers' achievement and its impact on the world in a fashion that inspires the next generation of inventors.

No invention has made such an indelible imprint on our world as the airplane. In 2003, the national celebration Centennial of Flight: Born of Dreams - Inspired by Freedom will commemorate the world's rich history of aviation accomplishments through events, symposiums, air shows, special programming, exhibits, tours, educational outreach and more.

The U.S. Centennial of Flight Commission's Responsibilities
The United States Congress charges the Commission with playing the leading role in coordinating and publicizing activities celebrating the achievements of Wilbur and Orville Wright and commemorating a century of powered flight. The Commission has the authority to make broad recommendations to the President of the United States, Congress and federal agencies on the celebration.

The Commission's primary responsibilities are:

  • To generate publicity for the celebration.
  • To encourage individuals and organizations across the country to conduct commemorative activities.
  • To give advice and recommendations to individuals and organizations conducting commemorative activities.
  • To maintain a Web site and a national calendar of events.
  • To send representatives to international meetings.
  • To maintain a speakers bureau.
  • To supervise staff operations.
  • To sponsor meetings.
Under the Centennial of Flight Commemoration Act, the Commission is also required to make recommendations concerning the issuing of commemorative postal stamps; commemorative coins and medals; the publication of books and educational materials; the production of conferences and educational programs; and the creation of competitions and awards.

Comprehensive documentation on the activities of the U.S. Centennial of Flight Commission and its Centennial Partners can be found in the National Plan. This document is available both online ( and in hard copy by request.

Commission Support for National Activities
The U.S. Centennial of Flight Commission's outreach plan includes support for marquee activities being planned by state commissions and organizations in North Carolina, Ohio and across the country. Events include national symposiums, Wright Flyer tours and reenactments, special exhibits and new museum openings, spectacular air shows, festivals, and much more.

As we approach 2003, the U.S. Centennial of Flight Commission will work to create national exposure for the celebration year and provide comprehensive information about celebration activities, historical materials and educational resources. Visit for more information on all of the exciting activities being planned.

The Spirit of Flight
An equally important goal of this celebration will be to encourage the values that have characterized 100 years of aviation history: ingenuity, inventiveness, persistence, creativity and courage. These values hold true not just for pioneers of flight, but also for all pioneers of invention and innovation, and they will remain an important part of America's future.

Using the story of aviation, the U.S. Centennial of Flight Commission hopes to inspire a new generation of inventors in children around the world and ignite a new level of enthusiasm for perseverance and determination in the quest for ingenuity.


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Born of Dreams, Inspired by Freedom wright flyer