Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park
Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park is a United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 National Historical Park
National Historical Park
National Historic Sites are protected areas of national historic significance in the United States. A National Historic Site usually contains a single historical feature directly associated with its subject...

 in Dayton, Ohio
Dayton, Ohio
Dayton is the 6th largest city in the U.S. state of Ohio and the county seat of Montgomery County, the fifth most populous county in the state. The population was 141,527 at the 2010 census. The Dayton Metropolitan Statistical Area had a population of 841,502 in the 2010 census...

, United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 that commemorates three exceptional men—Wilbur Wright, Orville Wright, and Paul Laurence Dunbar
Paul Laurence Dunbar
Paul Laurence Dunbar was a seminal African American poet of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Dunbar gained national recognition for his 1896 "Ode to Ethiopia", one poem in the collection Lyrics of Lowly Life....

—and their work in the Miami Valley
Miami Valley
The Miami Valley, broadly, refers to the land area surrounding the Great Miami River in southwest Ohio, USA, and also includes the Little Miami, Mad, and Stillwater rivers as well...


Through the invention of powered flight, Wilbur and Orville made significant contributions to human history. In their Dayton, Ohio, bicycle shops, these two men, self-trained in the science and art of aviation, researched and built the world's first power-driven, heavier-than-air machine capable of free, controlled, and sustained flight. The Wrights also perfected their invention during 1904 and 1905 at the Huffman Prairie Flying Field
Huffman Prairie
Huffman Prairie, also known as Huffman Prairie Flying Field or Huffman Field is part of Ohio's Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park...

 near their hometown of Dayton.

Paul Laurence Dunbar achieved national and international acclaim in a literary world that was almost exclusively reserved for whites, producing a body of work that included novels, plays, short stories, lyrics, and over 400 published poems. His work, which reflected much of the African American
African American
African Americans are citizens or residents of the United States who have at least partial ancestry from any of the native populations of Sub-Saharan Africa and are the direct descendants of enslaved Africans within the boundaries of the present United States...

 experience in the United States, contributed to a growing social consciousness and cultural identity for African Americans. Although he died in 1906, his writings contributed to later developments in African American history, such as the Harlem Renaissance
Harlem Renaissance
The Harlem Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned the 1920s and 1930s. At the time, it was known as the "New Negro Movement", named after the 1925 anthology by Alain Locke...

 and the early Civil Rights movement
Civil rights movement
The civil rights movement was a worldwide political movement for equality before the law occurring between approximately 1950 and 1980. In many situations it took the form of campaigns of civil resistance aimed at achieving change by nonviolent forms of resistance. In some situations it was...

. He was a neighbor and lifelong friend of Wilbur and Orville Wright.

The park is a cooperative effort between the National Park Service and several partners. The sites are:
  • The Wright Cycle Company Complex in Dayton, which includes the Wright Cycle Company
    Wright Cycle Company
    The bicycle business of the Wright brothers, the Wright Cycle Company occupied five different locations in Dayton, Ohio. Orville and Wilbur Wright began their bicycle repair business in 1892, and soon added rentals and sales. In 1896 they began manufacturing and selling bicycles of their own...

     building, the Wright-Dunbar Interpretive Center and the Aviation Trail Visitor Center and Museum
  • Huffman Prairie Flying Field and the Huffman Prairie Flying Field Interpretive Center, both located within Wright-Patterson Air Force Base
    Wright-Patterson Air Force Base
    Wright-Patterson Air Force Base is a United States Air Force base in Greene and Montgomery counties in the state of Ohio. It includes both Wright and Patterson Fields, which were originally Wilbur Wright Field and Fairfield Aviation General Supply Depot. Patterson Field is located approximately...

     just northeast of Dayton in Fairborn, Ohio
    Fairborn, Ohio
    Fairborn is a city in Greene County, Ohio, United States, near Dayton and Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. The population was 32,352 at the 2010 census...

    , but operated by the National Park Service
    National Park Service
    The National Park Service is the U.S. federal agency that manages all national parks, many national monuments, and other conservation and historical properties with various title designations...

     and open to the public.
  • The Wright Brothers Aviation Center at Carillon Historical Park
    Carillon Historical Park
    Carillon Historical Park is a 65-acre park and museum in Dayton, Ohio, which contains historic buildings and exhibits concerning the history of technology and the history of Dayton and its residents from 1796 to the present. The historical elements of the park were the brainchild of Colonel...

     in Dayton, operated by Dayton History
    Dayton History
    Dayton History is an organization located in Dayton, Ohio, USA, formed in 2005 by the merger of the Montgomery County Historical Society and Dayton's Carillon Historical Park....

  • The Paul Laurence Dunbar State Memorial
    Paul Laurence Dunbar House
    The Paul Laurence Dunbar House was the 1904-1906 home of poet Paul Laurence Dunbar in Dayton, Ohio. It is a historic house museum owned by the state of Ohio and operated by Dayton History on behalf of the Ohio Historical Society...

    in Dayton, operated by Dayton History on behalf of the Ohio Historical Society
    Ohio Historical Society
    The Ohio Historical Society is a non-profit organization incorporated in 1885 as The Ohio State Archaeological and Historical Society "to promote a knowledge of archaeology and history, especially in Ohio"...

  • Hawthorn Hill
    Hawthorn Hill
    Hawthorn Hill in Oakwood, Ohio, USA, was the post-1914 home of Orville, Milton, and Katharine Wright. Wilbur and Orville Wright intended for it to be their joint home, but Wilbur died in 1912, before the home's 1914 completion. The brothers hired the prominent Dayton architectural firm of...

    , the 1914-1948 residence of Orville Wright, located just south of Dayton in Oakwood, Ohio
    Oakwood, Ohio
    Oakwood is the name of the following places in the U.S. state of Ohio:*Oakwood, Montgomery County, Ohio, a city*Oakwood, Cuyahoga County, Ohio, a village*Oakwood, Paulding County, Ohio, a village...


Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park is located within the National Aviation Heritage Area, an eight-county region in Ohio established as a National Heritage Area
National heritage area
National heritage area is a region defined by a government as notable for cultural, historic, natural or recreation reasons. Compared to a national park, a national heritage area is not subject to the same level of zoning and regulations on land use. They are typically managed at a local...

 by Congress in 2004. The U.S. Department of the Interior listed three units of the park (Huffman Prairie Flying Field, Wright Hall and the 1905 Wright Flyer, and the Wright Cycle Company and Wright and Wright Printing building) on the 2008 U.S. World Heritage Tentative List as part of the Dayton Aviation Sites listing.

External links

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