National Aviation Day came to life in 1939, when Franklin Delano Roosevelt issued a proclamation making it so. The date—August 19—was chosen because it was Orville Wright’s birthday, and it honored the brothers who brought powered, controlled, heavier-than-air flight into reality.
We celebrate aviation every day, but for today, we hope that you join us in making a special event of it.
The National Aeronautic Association offers their own list of 10 things to do, in case you need a few ideas:
1. Read a book or memoir about your favorite aviation pioneer. If you’d like to learn about the Wright Brothers, there are plenty to choose from.
2. Visit and explore an aviation museum.
3. Build a model airplane.
4. Go “plane-spotting” at your local airport.
5. Watch an aviation documentary, like maybe 2003′s “Kitty Hawk: The Wright Brothers’ Journey of Invention.”
6. Take a virtual field trip to the Wright Brothers National Memorial.
7. Host a kite-flying contest.
8. Post on social media using #NationalAviationDay.
9. Attend a local air show or fly-in. There are ones this weekend in:
- Edmonton, Alberta
- Chicago, Illinois
- Camarillo, California
- Long Pond, Pennsylvania
- Arlington, Washington
- Greenwood, Nova Scotia
- Sydney, Nova Scotia.
10. Sign up to volunteer for an aviation organization.
And from all of us at Flying, here are nine more:
11. Listen to an episode of the ILAFFT podcast.
12. Sing “Happy Birthday” to Orville Wright, then enjoy an aviation-themed cupcake. (Sorry, Wilbur!)
13. Find out more about learning to fly.
14. Draw in an aviation coloring book with your favorite friends.
15. Construct an aviation collage out of old sectional and en route charts.
16. Take someone flying who’s never been up before.
17. Donate aviation books to a library or flight school near you.
18. Follow Flying on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.
19. Make a commitment to bring flying into your day every day—not just on August 19th!