PROCLAMATION: Wright Brothers Day, 2000
                              THE WHITE HOUSE

                       Office of the Press Secretary
          (Aboard Air Force One en route Andrews Air Force Base)

For Immediate Release                           December 14, 2000

                         WRIGHT BROTHERS DAY, 2000

                               - - - - - - -


                              A PROCLAMATION

     In 1903, Orville and Wilbur Wright were poised on the brink of one of
history's most remarkable advances.  For years, the two brothers had been
mesmerized by the principle of flight and had studied birds to understand
how these fascinating creatures rose, fell, and darted through the air.
The Wright Brothers' studies affirmed what they had long believed:  that
powered, controlled human flight was possible.  After much research and
experimen-tation and many trials and failures, the brothers tested their
prototype biplane on the windy dunes of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.  On
December 17, their efforts were rewarded and their dream realized when the
Wright Flyer rose through the air, soaring for 12 seconds and traveling 120

     While it took humanity thousands of years to reach that pivotal
moment, we have achieved stunning advances in aviation in the past century
alone.  Less than 25 years after the Wright Brothers' inaugural flight,
Charles Lindbergh conquered the Atlantic Ocean flying nonstop aboard The
Spirit of St. Louis; in less than 50 years, Chuck Yeager broke the sound
barrier; and in less than 70 years, the United States reached the heavens
and landed two men on the Moon.  Today, we continue to explore the
frontiers of space as the International Space Station orbits the Earth.

     The creative vision, ingenuity, and indomitable spirit that sparked
the Wright Brothers' achievement still power our Nation's aviation
accomplishments today.  Air travel is a vital part of life in America, and
people across the country depend on our air transportation system to link
them with one another and to sustain our growing economy.  Last year alone,
U.S. airlines safely transported almost 700 million passengers on 13
million flights.

     The gift of flight has immeasurably strengthened our Nation and
enriched the lives of people around the world.  It is only fitting that we
should remember on December 17 the two visionary Americans whose scientific
curiosity, independent thinking, and technical genius began a new era that
has taken us to the threshold of space and beyond.

     The Congress, by a joint resolution approved December 17, 1963 (77
Stat. 402; 36 U.S.C. 143), has designated December 17 of each year as
"Wright Brothers Day" and has authorized and requested the President to
issue annually a proclamation inviting the people of the United States to
observe that day with appropriate ceremonies and activities.

     NOW, THEREFORE, I, WILLIAM J. CLINTON, President of the United States
of America, do hereby proclaim December 17, 2000, as Wright Brothers Day.

     IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this
fourteenth day of December, in the year of our Lord two thousand, and of
the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and

                              WILLIAM J. CLINTON

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