Monday, May 11, 2015



New York City (JFK+50) Eighty-one year old acclaimed Pulitzer Prize winning historian David McCullogh's latest book, titled "The Wright Brothers," was released last week according to an article by AP's Hillel Italie.

Mr. McCullough covers the brothers' childhood in Ohio, their bicycle shop and the history-making flight at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina in 1903.  

In the book, most readers will learn things they never knew about the pioneers of flight.  One of these is the fact that Wilbur Wright* was sent into a severe depression as a teenager after being hit in the head by a hockey stick. 

Wilbur overcame the depression by becoming an "intense reader," and the experience "brought him closer" to his brother, Orville Wright**.

Italie's article tells us that the identity of the boy who wielded that hockey stick had not been brought out in earlier biographies.  McCullough's research led him to the diaries of the brothers' father which contained the "notorious" boy's identity.

David McCullough sees the lives of the Wright Brothers as filled with "failures and humiliations" but their "persistence" in their dream of flight finally led to success.

*Orville Wright (1871-1948)**Wilbur Wright (1867-1912).  Orville was born in Dayton, Ohio and Wilbur was born near Millville, Indiana.  The brothers opened a bicycle repair shop in 1892 and later began building their own bikes.

They went to Kitty Hawk in 1900 to experiment in manned gliding and there on Dec. 14, 1903, Wilbur's attempt to fly a motorized, propeller-driven aircraft failed.

Three days later, the brothers succeeded in making the first manned flight and followed it with two more on the same day.

Wright Brothers
Long Island, NY
October 1910
by Cole and Company
Library of Congress Image

"We were lucky enough to grow up in an environment where there was always much encouragement to...pursue intellectual interests;  to investigate what ever aroused curiosity."         
                                                  Orville Wright


"The Wright Brothers: New McCullough book celebrates the famous brothers," by Hillel Italie, The Post and Courier, Charleston, S.C., May 11, 2015.