Today In History Spotlights Dec. 14, 1903, Wright Brothers Attempt their First Flight

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Today’s History Spotlight

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Orville and Wilbur Wright attempt their first flight near Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. Born in Dayton, Ohio and Melville, Indiana, the Wright brothers are considered the pioneers of modern aviation. They originally planned on attempting a flight the day prior, but due to it being a Sunday, they promised their father that they would honor the Sabbath. The next day, Orville and Wilbur launched their flight, but the plane stalled and crashed, resulting in some damage.

The plane was repaired and another flight was conducted three days later, with this one ending in success. On the frieze of the Capitol Rotunda in Washington DC, the panorama begins with the birth of American history, and ends with the Wright brothers’ flight.

What Happened On This Day – December 14

  • 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. Adam Lanza shot and killed 20 children and 6 adults at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.
  • 1961 Tanzania joins the United Nations. Tanzania was created as a merger of Tanganyika and the Zanzibar Archipelago, both of which were under British rule until independence.
  • 1958 Soviets Reach the Southern Pole of Inaccessibility. A Pole of Inaccessibility is a location on Earth that is extremely difficult to access. In the North, it is the point in the Arctic Ocean that is farthest from land, while in the Southern Hemisphere it is the point farthest from the Southern Ocean on Antarctica. In 1958, a Soviet team led by Yevgeny Tolstikov became the first people in history to reach the Southern Pole of Inaccessibility, which is 546 miles (878 kilometers) from the geographic South Pole. Temperatures at this location averages around – 73 degree F (–58 degrees C).
  • 1939 USSR expelled from the League of Nations. The Soviet Union was expelled from the League of Nations for making aggressive demands of Finland.
  • 1911 Roald Amundsen reaches South Pole. Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen and his team reached the South Pole, becoming the first men in recorded history to set foot on the most southern point on Earth.

Births On This Day – December 14

  • 1988 Vanessa Hudgens – American actress, singer
  • 1966 Fabrizio Giovanardi – Italian race car driver
  • 1947 Dilma Rousseff – Brazilian politician, economist, 36th President of Brazil
  • 1546 Tycho Brahe – Danish astronomer, chemist
  • 1503 Nostradamus – French astrologer

Deaths On This Day – December 14

  • 2013 Peter O’Toole – Irish actor
  • 1989 Andrei Sakharov – Russian physicist
  • 1947 Stanley Baldwin – English politician
  • 1943 John Harvey Kellogg – American surgeon, co-created Corn flakes
  • 1799 George Washington – American general, politician, 1st President of the United States

The sections “What Happened On This Day,” “Births On This Day,” and “Deaths On This Day” originally appeared at and is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Garrett Smith
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