The Connecticut state Senate recently passed a bill striking Orville and Wilbur Wright from history, and assigning credit for the first powered flight to Gustave Whitehead instead. Aviation historian John Brown found photographic evidence in March that Whitehead made a powered flight over Connecticut in 1901, "two years, four months, and three days before the Wright brothers."
In 1968, Connecticut declared Whitehead the “Father of Flight,” recognizing his contributions before there was evidence of his powered flight. Governor Dannel Malloy is expected to sign the new bill next week. Historians have long known that several individuals and groups were working on flying machines around the same time, including German immigrant Whitehead. But some historians remain unconvinced that Whitehead ever got off the ground. Though there are surviving written accounts, the photographic evidence is compelling but not definitive.