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
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:
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.
- 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.
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
(www.centennialofflight.gov) and in hard copy by request.
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 www.centennialofflight.gov
for more information on all of the exciting activities being planned.
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
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.