Ohio and North Carolina drew a line on the tarmac Thursday in the fight over who was first to make a powered airplane flight.
Ohio license plates proclaim the state is the “Birthplace of Aviation” while North Carolina tags say the state is “First in Flight.” Connecticut believes both are wrong.
There, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy signed a law this summer saying German-born aviator and Bridgeport, Conn., resident Gustave Whitehead was the first to make a powered flight.
The state went on record saying Whitehead made his flight in 1901 — two years before Wilbur and Orville Wright lifted off on North Carolina’s Outer Banks. The brothers were from Ohio.
On Thursday, Ohio state Rep. Rick Perales and North Carolina state Sen. Bill Cook held news conferences in their respective states to dispute Connecticut’s action and reassert that the Wright Brothers were first.
“It’s important to protect the truth,” said Cook, whose district includes the Outer Banks. “Nowadays it seems like there are an awful lot of people who are trying to rewrite history.”