“I fly because it releases my mind from the tyranny of petty things.”
“The desire to fly is an idea handed down to us by our ancestors who, in their grueling travels across trackless lands in prehistoric times, looked enviously on the birds soaring freely through space, at full speed, above all obstacles, on the infinite highway of the air.”
National Aviation Day is observed in the United States on August 19th of each year to celebrate the history and development of aviation. It coincides with the birthday of Orville Wright who, together with his brother Wilbur, made significant contributions to powered flight. The holiday was established in 1939 by Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who issued a presidential proclamation which designated the anniversary of Orville Wright's birthday to be National Aviation Day (Mr. Wright, born in 1871, was still alive when the proclamation was first issued, and would live another nine years). The proclamation was codified (USC 36:I:A:1:118), and it allows the sitting U.S. President to proclaim August 19 as National Aviation Day each year, if desired. The proclamation may direct all federal buildings and installations to fly the US flag on that day, and may encourage citizens to observe the day with activities that promote interest in aviation.
Sarina Houston, Aviation and Aerospace Expert, offers 6 ways to celebrate National Aviation Day:
1. Learn about the history of aviation – read a book about a famous aviator or learn something new about aviation’s past.
2. Go flying – This is a great day for pilots to take the day off and use it!
3. Visit a local Aviation Museum – some might offer a discount!
4. Thank an Aviation Industry employee - One can make a pilot's day by thanking him or her for a great flight, but one shouldn’t forget the rest of the aviation network such as mechanics, dispatchers, baggage handlers, controllers, and engineers for they all have an equally important role in making the aviation industry what it is. Thank someone who makes aviation possible on this day.
5. Teach a child about airplanes - Children might not be familiar with how the aviation industry went from Orville and Wilbur to supersonic jets and NextGen technologies. And kids love airplanes! What better day to teach children something about airplanes? Read a book about the Wright Brothers or do an aviation-related craft.
6. Build a Model or Paper Airplane - National Aviation Day is a great day to sit down and build a model airplane just for fun. Or, at the very least, show some spirit around the office with a paper airplane!
There are plenty of other ways to celebrate National Aviation Day:
Find a great spot to watch planes take off and land
Bake cookies and use airplane-shaped cookie cutters
Watch a movie about aviation
Print out aviation coloring pages and color them with children
Make paper airplanes of all different sizes and keep track of which ones fly the straightest and farthest – checkout www.funpaperairplanes.com
On August 19th, 2016 be sure to celebrate National Aviation Day!