First Flight with the Wright Brothers

Yesterday was National Aviation Day, a holiday established by president Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1939 to celebrate developments in aviation. The date selected was the birth date of aviation pioneer Orville Wright, who, along with his older brother Wilbur, is credited with inventing and building the world's first practical fixed-wing aircraft and making the first controlled, powered and sustained flight more than a hundred years ago. The Wright brothers documented much of their early progress in photographs made on glass negatives. Today, the Library of Congress holds many of these historic images, some of which are presented below.

Read more
Hints: View this page full screen. Skip to the next and previous photo by typing j/k or ←/→.

Most Recent

  • Ramiro Gomez / Reuters

    Deadly Storms Hammer Mexico and Texas

    Devastating storms that brought tornadoes and 11 inches of rainfall to the Great Plains, Midwest, and northern Mexico, continue to cause serious flooding in Texas and parts of Oklahoma.

  • Carl de Souza / AFP / Getty Images

    The Masks We Wear

    We wear masks for many reasons: for fun, for protection, or to make a statement.

  • Stephanie Keith / Reuters

    Photos of the Week: 5/16-5/22

    This week we have photos of an 80-foot-high tire in Michigan, dozens of Siberian students smashed into a car, two volcanic eruptions, yet another nail house in China, synchronized swimmers in a pond at the Chelsea Flower Show, a view from the top of the 104-story One World Trade Center, cows on the beach along the Mediterranean, a solar halo above Mexico, and much more.

  • Chensiyuan / Wikimedia Commons

    The Spectacular Seda Monastery

    High in a treeless valley in China's remote Garze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture lies the largest Tibetan Buddhist school in the world.

Join the Discussion