On August 19, the United States observes National Aviation Day, a time set aside to celebrate the evolution of aviation and the many ways it has helped our country and its residents. Life has gotten very complicated in the last century, but one wonderful development is flight – it enables people to travel to all corners of the world in just a few hours. It brings together families, makes it easier for companies to conduct business and has fostered greater understanding between people and governments as they’ve increasingly turned to aviation to bring them together.
National Aviation Day was founded in 1939 by proclamation of President Franklin D. Roosevelt as a holiday to recognize achievements in aviation and keep the interest alive in the next generation. The date was chosen because it is the birthdate of Orville Wright, who with his brother flew the first airplane at Kitty Hawk, NC.
Dress Like an Aviator
If you’ve always been interested in flight and longed to be an aviator, you can dress the part even if you don’t have you pilot’s license. Your kids can also join in and wear one of Halloween Empire’s pilot’s costumes to show their respect for National Aviation Day. Our WW1 pilot costume for kids includes everything from the bomber’s jacket to the hat and scarf.
School Observances on National Aviation Day
Many schools devote the week of August 19 to reading about and learning about aviation pioneers such as the Wright brothers, Amelia Earhart, Charles Lindbergh, John Glenn and others. Other topics may include studying the dynamics of air flight, how it evolved and the many ways aviation makes life easier today. Field trips to aviation museums and airports are also common in schools. Some schools invite a pilot or flight attendant to visit and talk about their work to the students. If they’re very fortunate, an astronaut might stop by!
Take a Trip
Traveling by air is a great way to recognize National Aviation Day, particularly if you’re visiting any number of locations associated with aviation. You could travel to Wright Brothers National Memorial in Kitty Hawk, NC or stay a bit closer to home by visiting the closest international airport to watch planes taking off and landing. There are also ten NASA facilities around the country, many of them offering tours. Or contact your local airports and Air Force bases. Many of them sponsor air shows for National Aviation Day, and the acrobatic flying that is displayed is awe-inspiring.
Do an Aviation Oriented Craft
Put together a model airplane with your kids. It’s a great way to learn more about planes while creating something permanent they can proudly display in their room. You could also make a fly some paper airplanes with your kids. They’ll love doing something outside with you and you can experiment to see who comes up with the best design.
Watch a Movie About Aviation
There are so many wonderful movies about aviation available for families to download, stream or rent. Check out some that cover the history of aviation from the Wright Brothers to the space shuttle or reveal the personal stories of aviators. We suggest the following titles. They are exciting and informative as well:
- Amelia (2009)
- The Red Baron (2008)
- The Right Stuff (1983)
- Memphis Belle (1990)
- Apollo 13 (1995)
- The Spirit of St. Louis (1957)
- The Aviator (2004)
- Sully (2016)
- One Six Right (2005)
However you celebrate National Aviation Day, be sure to thank a pilot, airplane mechanic, flight attendant or anyone involved in the industry for their contributions to flying!