If you don't live in Ohio or North Carolina, you probably don't realize that the states totally hate each other. Want to know why? It's because of airplanes. And all the license plates. Allow me to explain.
Ohio license plates say, "Birthplace of Aviation."
North Carolina plates say, "First in Flight."
I say, "North Carolina can suck it."
When Heather and Abigail came to Ohio for the wedding, we were driving around one afternoon and the subject of flight came up. No, I don't remember how that happened, but it did. One of them mentioned something about North Carolina license plates saying "first in flight" and THEN they wondered why Ohio got all bent out of shape about it and that is when I HAD TO DROP SOME KNOWLEDGE ALL OVER THEIR ASSES.
I very rationally explained that North Carolina is wrong. It used to be cute that they thought flight was all theirs, but it's not funny anymore. Then I explained about the Wright Brothers and it soon became clear to me that this was not common knowledge unless maybe you grew up in Dayton and took yearly school field trips to the Air Force Museum. (The only other thing I remember from those field trips is that there is a plane at the museum named Strawberry Bitch, which we all thought was hilarious...probably because it's hilarious.)
So here, dear internet, is a faithful narrative of all things Wright Brothers. Well, maybe not all things. But some things! Things I could remember! Or that I found on Wackopedia. Anyway.
Once upon a time there were two brothers, Wilbur and Orville Wright. Neither technically graduated from high school, so think of that the next time you're on a plane. Wilbur was supposed to go to Yale, but he got his front teeth knocked out by a hockey puck so he stayed home because he was afraid none of the Yale ladies would want to make out with him. Ha. Just kidding, there were no ladies at Yale, it was 1885.
Anyway, instead of going to Yale, Wilbur stayed in Dayton and went to work with Orville at his print shop. Interesting (?) sidenote: Paul Laurence Dunbar was one of their customers, and had also been a classmate of Orville's. I like to imagine that they were BFFs. Also, that they invented a time machine so they could go to the future and find out if they ever became famous, which THEY TOTALLY DID. Well, Dayton-famous. Wah wah.
Later, the Wrights opened a bicycle shop called the Wright Cycle Exchange, and used all the crazy cash money they made to pay for their silly flight endeavors. They were mostly focused on how to control an aircraft, so the pilot wouldn't go careening off of a cliff and, like, die and stuff. Other flight-inventing-wannabes were more focused on strapping the biggest engines they could find on planes but the Wrights were all, "size isn't everything, duh."
Then Wilbur and Orville did a bunch of science to figure out how to make an awesome plane that wouldn't kill people. They did this and in 1903, they took the Wright Flyer I to Kitty Hawk, North Carolina and flew the shit out of it. The only reason the first flight took place in North Carolina was because the winds there were more conducive to flying than the winds in Dayton (plus it was December, which equals ice and snow in Ohio). Also, going to North Carolina was cheaper than going to California or Florida. So, congratulations, North Carolina! You get the bronze medal in wind.
But seriously. Stay away from The Wright Brothers. THEY'RE OURS.
(Indiana tries to butt in sometimes, too, just because Wilbur Wright was born there, which is sort of adorable but no, Indiana. Just...no. You get to claim Vonnegut and Letterman, WHY ISN'T THAT ENOUGH FOR YOU?)
PS: If you're ever in Dayton and you have some time to kill, I highly recommend going to Carillon Park. You can see a replica of the Wright bicycle shop (whoo?) and the Wright Flyer III, which is, I think, three times as awesome as the Wright Flyer I. Plus! There is a little replica schoolhouse from the olden days and you get to sit at the desks or in the corner and wear the Dunce hat. It's awesome. Or at least I thought it was awesome when we went there on field trips. You know, when I was 10.