Wright Timeline 1930 to 1939

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The Wright Story 


  Wright Timeline     1930 to 1939 
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o invention, no scientific discovery, no work of art, no human endeavor happens in an historical vacuum. There are always other factors -- cultural, political, personal -- that influence the outcome of a single event. So it was with the invention of the airplane. When Wilbur and Orville were children, the abacus was the most advanced mathematical aid, influenza was an often-fatal disease, and the cannon was the most feared weapon of war. By the time Orville died, the first computers were just being built, antibiotics had begun to wipe out disease,  and the atomic bomb made war unthinkable. Many of these advances influenced the development of the airplane -- and the airplane, in turn, influenced further advances.

Here is chronology that shows not just the story of the Wright brothers, but also the world they lived in and the important political, cultural, and scientific events that loomed large in their lives. Click on the decade you want to see:

1860 to 1869
1870 to 1879
1880 to 1889
1890 to 1899
1900 to 1909
1910 to 1919
1920 to 1929
1930 to 1939
1940 to 1949


The Wright Story

The Bigger Picture

1930 John McMahon publishes The Wright Brothers: Fathers of Flight, the first biography of Wilbur and Orville Wright. Orville invents a printing press that prints on balsa wood and cuts out shapes. It's used to manufacture toy airplanes.
Astronomer C. W. Tombaugh discovers the planet Pluto (later to be downgraded to a "planetoid").
1931 NBC radio stations pay special tribute to Orville on the occasion of his 60th birthday.
Ernest Lawrence invents the cyclotron to study atomic particles, the Star Spangled Banner becomes America's national anthem, and the Empire State Building is completed in New York City.
1932 The Wright Brothers Monument at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina is dedicated with Orville Wright in attendance. Orville is the only person to see a national monument erected to him while he is still living.
In England, Ernest Walton and John Cockcroft  "split the atom" for the first time, using a proton beam to break lithium atoms apart into helium atoms.
1933 Working with Chrysler engineer Bill Earnshaw, Orville tests automobile shapes in his wind tunnel. These lead to the first aerodynamic automobiles, the Desoto Airflow and Chrysler Airflow.
Adolph Hitler becomes Chancellor of Germany and the Nazi party comes to power. Franklin Roosevelt institutes the "New Deal" to lift America out of the Great Depression.
1934 Marshall Reid flies a restored Wright Model B belonging to the Franklin Institute from Central Airport near Philadelphia. It is the last recorded flight of an original Wright aircraft.
The Soap Box Derby begins in Orville's home town of Dayton, Ohio.
1935 Orville receives an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Huntington College in Indiana, a United Brethren institution. Huntington had evolved out of Hartville College where his father Milton taught and where his mother Susan had attended.
President Roosevelt signs the Social Security Act, Parkers Brothers release the Monopoly board game, and Howard Hughes sets an aviation speed record of 352 mph in the Hughes H-1.
1936 Henry Ford removes the Wright bicycle shop and the Wright home from Dayton, Ohio to his museum in Dearborn, Michigan. In return, Orville gets a promise from Ford and the Early Birds of Aviation (who brokered the deal) to support Orville in his dispute with the Smithsonian.
Hoover Dam, the world's largest concrete structure, is completed.
1937 Orville prepares his Last Will and Testament, deeding the 1903 Wright Flyer to the Kensington Museum in England unless the will is amended at a later date.
Amelia Earhart is lost while attempting to become the first woman to fly around the world. The Hindenburg dirigible explodes in New Jersey after crossing the Atlantic.
1938 The Wright Bicycle Shop and Wright home are opened to the public at Henry Ford Museum/Greenfield Village. Orville and much of his extended family attend the dedication in Dearborn, Michigan.
Nazi Germany invades Austria and Czechoslovakia. The Holocaust begins with the "Kristallnacht" (Night of Broken Glass) as Nazis destroy 7500 Jewish businesses and hundreds of synagogues. Nylon is used for the first time in a commercial product a toothbrush
1939 By Congressional decree, the Civil Aeronautics Authority (the forerunner of the FAA) issues Honorary Pilot's License No. 1 to Orville Wright.
World War II begins in Europe and the Far East. John Steinbeck writes The Grapes of Wrath and Albert Einstein writes to U.S. President Roosevelt, advising him of the possibility of creating a nuclear bomb.

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 Eddie Rickenbacker



History Wing/The Wright Story/The Wright Timeline 1930-1939

Part of a biography of the Wright Brothers


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