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Orville Mugs For His Birthday

Orville was born this day in 1871, and in 1939, Roosevelt issued a national proclamation to designate August 19 as National Aviation Day

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National Aviation Day coffee mug, from Cafe Press.

You may have noticed the U.S. flag flying on a federal building today, but chances are it was on the pole yesterday, too. Or perhaps you woke feeling the need for “appropriate exercises to further stimulate interest in aviation,” which many of us consider part of our routine. At least today, though, you’ve got President Franklin Roosevelt and Orville Wright to thank. Orville was born this day in 1871, and in 1939, Roosevelt issued a national proclamation to designate August 19 as National Aviation Day.

The National Park Service kicks off appropriate exercises at 9:00 this morning at the Wright Brothers National Memorial in North Carolina, with a full day of stimulation beginning with a Junior Flight Ranger program and including a noontime chat and book-signing of The Bishop’s Boys by National Air and Space Museum curator Tom Crouch.

Orville, about the time of the national proclamation. Photo: Library of Congress

Candles burn for Orville across the continent. National Aviation Day at the Alaska Aviation Museum brings a 10 percent discount off anything from the gift store; a moonlight helicopter ride and barbecue for charity at the Craig Airport in Jacksonville, FL; a pilot meet-n-greet in Davenport IA; and the chance to earn an Aerospace Merit Badge in Harrisburg, PA. You can fly an egg-carton glider at the National Museum of the USAF in Dayton.

Dusting off Orville Wright for his birthday, and a new exhibit at the North Carolina Museum of History in Raleigh. Photo: Courtesy of the News-Observer

Orville’s first flight was only 120 feet, but with this much ground to cover, you’ll need a long-range private jet. Find one at JetRequest, which is offering special rates for the day.

If all this exercise is too much stimulation, finish your coffee and get back in bed. Especially if you’re in Canada, where you’ve already missed the day by months.

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