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Collection Wilbur and Orville Wright Papers at the Library of Congress

1932 to 1948

  • November 19, 1932

    Orville attends dedication of Kill Devil Hill National Memorial honoring the Wright brothers in Kitty Hawk.

    [Letter from Herbert Hoover] General Correspondence: Hoover, Herbert, 1926, 1932 The Wilbur and Orville Wright Papers. Manuscript Division, Library of Congress. Manuscript Division, Library of Congress.
  • April 16, 1938

    Wright brothers' home and bicycle shop, moved from Dayton to Greenfield Village in Dearborn, Michigan, are dedicated as a memorial to the Wrights.

  • December 1, 1939

    Wilbur and Orville's brother Lorin Wright dies in Dayton.

  • July 1940

    1903 Wright airplane on exhibit at the Science Museum in London dismantled and packed away for safekeeping during World War II.

    [Letter from Smithsonian] General Correspondence: Smithsonian Institution, 1942-1947, undated The Wilbur and Orville Wright Papers. Manuscript Division, Library of Congress. Manuscript Division, Library of Congress.
  • August 19, 1940

    Wilbur and Orville Wright Memorial in Dayton and near Huffman Prairie, is dedicated.

  • October 24, 1942

    Smithsonian Institution publishes The 1914 Tests of the Langley "Aerodrome," a brochure that apologizes for and retracts former statements about the precedence of the Langley machine, marking end of the Smithsonian-Wright controversy.

  • 1944

    Orville builds cypher machine for automatic selective coding of messages.

  • January 30, 1948

    Orville dies of heart attack in Dayton.

    [Ticket, Presentation of the Wright Brothers' Aeroplane of 1903, 17 December 1948]. Subject File: Smithsonian Institution--Presentation Ceremony--17 December 1948, 1948-1949. The Wilbur and Orville Wright Papers. Manuscript Division, Library of Congress.
  • November 22, 1948

    1903 airplane arrives from the Science Museum in London and is delivered to Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. Plane is formally presented to Smithsonian in a ceremony on December 17.

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