115 years ago today, the Wright Brothers made the first controlled, sustained flight of a motorized, heavier-than-air vehicle piloted by Orville in the Wright Flyer at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. During the next two years, the brothers developed their flying machine into the first practical fixed-wing aircraft. Although not the first to build experimental aircraft, the Wright brothers were the first to invent aircraft controls that made fixed-wing powered flight possible. WATCH film footage from that day… (1903)

MORE Good News from this Date:

  • Simón Bolívar proclaimed Colombia to be a Republic (1819)
  • British industrial company BTH received a patent for holography, invented by Dennis Gabor (1947)
  • The Air Quality Act of 1967 was passed unanimously by the U.S. Senate, which initiated extensive monitoring and inspections into sources of air pollution, and what to do about it—and led to passage of the 1970 Clean Air Act (1967)
  • The SALT I talks began, between the Soviet Union and U.S., to control nuclear arms (1969)
  • The Firearms Act was extended in Britain to become a ban on all handguns, with the exception of antique and show weapons (1997)
  • The United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution designating November 25 as the annual International Day to Eliminate Violence Against Women (1999)
  • Congo‘s government, rebels and opposition parties signed a peace agreement to end four years of civil war and provide for transitional governance and legislative and presidential elections within two years (2002)
  • The SpaceShipOne flight 11P, piloted by Brian Binnie, made its first supersonic flight (2003)
  • French sailor François Gabart set the round-the-world record for fastest solo navigation of the globe in 42 days 16 hours (2017)

And Happy 82nd Birthday to Pope Francis, who became leader of the Catholic church in March 2013.


Born of Italian-immigrant parents in Argentina and first ordained as a priest there 46 years ago, he is now beloved around the world as a man of the people. The pontiff wrote a book of daily inspiration in 2014, called A Year of Mercy with Pope Francis: Daily Reflections. (1936)