Page:United States Statutes at Large Volume 105 Part 3.djvu/589

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PROCLAMATION 6237—DEC. 7, 1990 105 STAT. 2473 National Poison Prevention Week. I call upon all Americans to observe this week by participating in appropriate ceremonies and activities and by learning how to prevent accidental poisonings among children. IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this sixth day of December, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and ninety, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and fifteenth. GEORGE BUSH Proclamation 6237 of December 7, 1990 Wright Brothers Day, 1990 By the President of the United States of America A Proclamation When Orville and Wilbur Wright's hand-crafted airplane lifted off the windswept beach near Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, on December 17, 1903, only a handful of men and perhaps a few startled sea gulls witnessed the world's first controlled, manned flight in a heavier-than-air, mechanically propelled aircraft. Nevertheless, this brief bold flight changed the course of history. With the success of their daring experiment, Orville and Wilbur Wright ushered in the age of aviation. From the time they experimented with airplane models and wind tunnels at their small workshop in Dayton, Ohio, until the end of their celebrated careers, the Wright brothers demonstrated qualities shared by all great pioneers and inventors. Eager to learn and determined to succeed, they engaged in hours of intense study and painstaking trial, calculation, and design. As individuals they were confident, methodical, and brilliantly intuitive engineers. Shortly after the Wrights began their experiments, they found that the small amount of data previously collected by others was unreliable. Consequently, they conducted their own basic research, literally writing the book on fundamental aerodynamics. Eventually, the Wrights used their carefully acquired knowledge to build a machine so far ahead of its day that they even had to design and build their own motor, one that was both powerful and lightweight. The Wrights' diligent and enlightened approach to their work was the key to their success. Wilbur once remarked: "If a man is in too big a hurry to give up an error, he is liable to give up some truth with it, and in accepting the arguments of the other man, he is sure to get some error with it.... After I get a hold of a truth I hate to lose it again, and I like to sift all the truth out before I give up an error." Such intellectual openness and tenacity—coupled with courage, creativity, and perseverance—enabled the Wright brothers to defy both the skepticism of friends and the force of gravity as they launched the age of controlled himian flight. We live in a world transformed by the work of the Wright brothers, and in this age of sophisticated air and space travel, their first flight still stands as one of the most extraordinary achievements of the 20th