My North Carolina license plate says "First in Flight" and has a picture of the Wright Brothers' plane emblazoned across the numbers. And there's a plane on my driver's license as well. The Wright Brothers first flight in 1903 is a pretty big deal here. It's even on our official state quarter.
Of course every time I see "First In Flight" I feel the need to point out that the plane was designed and built in Ohio by Ohio residents who just put it on a train, found a place in North Carolina with good winds, flew it for a minute and a half, then put it back on the train and went back home to build more planes. In Ohio.
North Carolina objected strenuously when Ohio decided to put "Birthplace of Aviation" on their license plates. Personally, I think it was an improvement over the previous slogan "Ohio, The Heart of It All" (If Ohio's the Heart, is Kentucky the Spleen?). And I don't believe North Carolina has the right to object. The plane really was "born" in Ohio. It just reached its potential in North Carolina. A lot like me, I suppose.
Film maker Jim Sutherland has suggested an alternate slogan "North Carolina, First In Flying Ohio-Built Planes" and that sounds fair to me.
Basically, the Wright Brothers came here for the same reason most every person from Ohio comes here, including me. The weather is nice. The people are friendly and helpful. It's warmer here than in Ohio. And they've got a beach.
North Carolina--Welcoming Ohio Pilots For Over A Century
Posted by judy5cents at 8:23 AM EDT
Updated: Saturday, 18 June 2005 3:22 PM EDT