Smith Brothers“Look, up in the sky, it’s a bird, it’s a plane!” Stop right there, Superman Opening Credits Guy, it’s a plane, and today is


Established in 1939 by President Franklin Roosevelt, National Aviation Day celebrates, well… aviation in America. Good call, FDR, since aviation is one of America’s calling cards.

So, why the picture of the Smith Brothers instead of the Wright brothers? Well… today we recall none of the usual suspects in the Aviation Pantheon, but instead, two often overlooked Pioneers of Flight; Loralee and Winona Smith.

Who, you say?

They were the “Darlings of Dayton,” of course, sisters of the Smith Brothers of cough drop fame, popular ladies with the eligible bachelors, and aviation legends in their own (w)right.

You see, the Smith Sisters were the main inspirations for two local bicycle builders, Orville and Wilbur Wright. They told the Wright Brothers again and again that they would date grease monkeys with funny mustaches when their bicycles could fly.

The rest is history, even if the Smith girls never kept their word and the Wright brothers remained lifelong bachelors.

• Suggested Activities: Go fly a kite. That’s how Orville and Wilbur got started.

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