Dayton Named Flight's Birthplace; Kitty Hawk Protests

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As custody battles go, this is one for the (history) books. North Carolina politicians are going ballistic after Congress decided that Dayton, Ohio, where Orville and Wilbur Wright converted a bicycle shop into the first airplane plant, is the birthplace of aviation. Three North Carolina politicians were the only ones to vote against the resolution and rest their case on the obvious. "The Wright brothers made their first flight at Kitty Hawk. The last time I checked, Kitty Hawk [was] still in North Carolina," said Rep. Robin Hayes (R-N.C.) But Springfield, Ohio, Rep. Dave Hobson said there's more to parenthood than watching progeny fly away from the nest. Hobson claims the historic achievement was conceived in Dayton and the airplane, as we know it, took its first ungainly steps on nearby Huffman Prairie where the Wrights did much of their initial testing. The Wright Flyer was the mature, capable result of those nurturing years, he claimed. Even Wright relatives have stepped into the family dispute and sided with Dayton. Great-grandnephew Stephen Wright said he hopes North Carolina gets over its "insecurity complex" and acknowledges the true lineage of the Dec. 17, 1903, success. "North Carolina lawmakers speak out of ignorance of history when they try to attribute what the Wright brothers accomplished solely to their state," said Wright, who, incidentally, lives in Dayton.