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Celebrating Ohio's legendary Aviators

LINDSAY O'CONNOR

November is National Aviation History Month, a month dedicated to exploring, recognizing and celebrating America’s contributions and achievements in aviation. For the Columbus Regional Airport Authority, our focus is on Ohio’s legendary aviators.

Ohio is known as the Birthplace of Aviation for good reason. Our state is home to many pioneers of flight: Neil Armstrong, Lonnie Carmon, Cromwell Dixon, Major Dominic Salvatore Gentile, Captain Ed Gillespie, John Glenn, James Lovell, Jerrie Mock, Eddie Rickenbacker, Kathryn Sullivan, the Tuskegee Airmen and of course, the Wright brothers.

Join us in remembering our past. Throughout the month, check out our Facebook page to learn more about Ohio’s rich aviation history. And next time you’re at John Glenn International, take a walk through our Notable Ohio Aviators exhibit near checkpoint B.

National Aviation History Month quick facts:

  • National Aviation Day is August 19, established in 1939 by Franklin D. Roosevelt who issued a presidential proclamation to designate the anniversary of Orville Wright’s birthday to be National Aviation Day.
  • The National Aviation Hall of Fame was founded in 1962 in Dayton, Ohio, home of the Wright brothers.
  • The Wright brothers flipped a coin to decide who would take the first manned flight. Wilbur won the coin toss and made the first attempt on December 14, 1903, but the attempt was unsuccessful. When Orville took his turn three days later, the plane took flight, so he is credited with the first power-controlled flight.
  • The first flight took place in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. We won’t get into a debate about our dueling mottos (Ohio’s Birthplace of Aviation North Carolina’s First in Flight) but you can read about it here.
  • Before planes, people had only flown in gliders and hot air balloons.

To learn more about the aviator behind the naming of John Glenn Columbus International Airport, check out this video by The Ohio State University Libraries.