On March 23, 1903, Orville and Wilbur Wright filed the first patent for their "Flying Machine" which they would fly successfully on December 17 of the same year. Other inventors were making strides elsewhere around the world, but the Wrights achieved the first "controlled, powered and sustained heavier-than-air human flight."

A documentary produced by the Department of Defense in 1970 celebrates the Wright brothers' historic achievements. The excerpt below describes some of their earliest flights, and the documentary is available in its entirety at the Internet Archive


A diagram of the "Flying Machine" from the 1903 patent filing,  which was granted in 1906.  

For more films from the Internet Archive, visit http://archive.org/.

Via the PBS "This Day in History" Tumblr