In 1910, Orville and Wilbur Wright opened the first American civilian flight school in Montgomery, Alabama. The Wright brothers hoped to find a climate warmer and more hospitable to flying than their company base of snowy Dayton, Ohio. Forward-thinking Montgomerians welcomed the Wrights and heralded the school as a way to rise above the shadow of the Civil War. Author Julie Hedgepeth Williams chronicles the short life of this flight school as seen mainly through the eyes of the Alabama press, whose reporting and sometimes misreporting "reflected the misconceptions, hopes, dreams, and fears about aviation in 1910, painting a picture of a time when flight was untested, unsteady, and unavailable to most people."
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January 27, 2012
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