April 11, 2014

The NPS recognizes the long and valuable tradition of philanthropy in the national parks. Friends groups have played a critical role in the success of this country’s national parks, and it is the policy of the NPS to support and strengthen its relationships with the First Flight Society, and to encourage innovation and creativity to meet mutual goals.

In 1927, a group of forward-thinking northeastern North Carolina business and civic leaders began an effort to preserve the original site of the Wright brothers’ flights of December 17, 1903. The group formally organized on August 16, 1927, as the Kill Devil Hills Memorial Association and set about the task of acquiring the site where Orville and Wilbur Wright made their four historic flights in 1903. The Kill Devil Hills Memorial Association was formally incorporated in 1943. Its name was changed to Kill Devil Hills Memorial Society in 1951 and in 1966 changed to the First Flight Society.

The purpose of the Park is to preserve for public use and enjoyment the monument and historic site “in commemoration of the conquest of the air by the brothers Wilbur and Orville Wright” and to provide, through interpretation and education, the opportunity for the public to recognize contributions to the scientific and technological progress of mankind through the Wright’s experiments.

The National Park Service and the First Flight Society share in our missions and purpose resulting in the benefit of a partnership effort that has endured since the Wright Brothers National Memorial became part of the National Park System in 1933. The First Flight Society and the National Park Service will continue their collaborative relationship under this Agreement, working on current and future projects and improvements in the Park to enhance the visitor’s experience and underscore the continuing relevance of the Right Brothers’ aviation achievements, especially the first flight on December 17, 1903.

The First Flight Society is excited about our relationship with the National Park Service and we look forward to expanding aviation educational programs and activities and supporting the goals of the National Park Service at the Wright Brothers National Memorial.