By the President of the United States of America
This year, 1978, is the diamond jubilee anniversary of aviation. Seventy-five years ago on December 17, at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, the Wright Brothers launched man into the age of powered flight. The magnitude of the heritage of Orville and Wilbur Wright is heroic. The significance of their achievement to men and women everywhere is profound.
At 10:30 in the morning on that cold and windy day Orville, aboard his fragile "Wright Flyer," was driven aloft by a four cylinder 12 horsepower engine also ingeniously fashioned by the two brothers. This first successful flight in a heavier-than-air powered aircraft lasted but 12 seconds and covered a distance of only 120 feet.
In the seventy-five years since that historic flight, the science of aeronautics and the prowess of American industry have combined to make aviation a giant among the Nation's transportation and communications systems. Air transportation has become the prime public carrier between American cities and to international points. And the movement of cargo, especially perishable goods, life saving pharmaceuticals and other high-priority items important to the public welfare and commerce, has become largely dependent upon the speed, efficiency and safety of air transport.
Aviation today is one of America's greatest enterprises and among its largest employers; a major contributor in the social and cultural enhancement of the American public and, in the international arena, an instrument of signal importance in the deterrence of aggression and as a mighty defender of peace.
THEREFORE, in this 75th anniversary year of powered flight, I, JIMMY CARTER, President of the United States of America, do hereby designate the year 1978, diamond jubilee anniversary of powered flight, as National Aviation Year. And further,
To commemorate the historic achievements of the Wright Brothers, the Congress, by joint resolution of December 17, 1963 (77 Stat. 402, 36 U.S.C. 169), designated the seventeenth day of December of each year as Wright Brothers Day and requested the President to issue annually a proclamation inviting the people of the United States to observe that day with appropriate ceremonies and activities.
Now, THEREFORE, I, JIMMY CARTER, President of the United States of America, do hereby call upon the people of this Nation, and their local and national government officials, to observe Wright Brothers Day, December 17, 1978, with appropriate ceremonies and activities, both to recall the accomplishments of the Wright Brothers and to provide a stimulus to aviation in this country and throughout the world.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this eighth day of August, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred seventy-eight, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and third.
[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 10:55 a.m., August 9, 1978]