Aug. 14, 2013, is ‘Gustave Whitehead Day’ in Fairfield

First Selectman Michael Tetreau announced that he is proclaiming today, Aug. 14, 2013 as “Gustave Whitehead Day” in Fairfield. Today marks the 112th anniversary of Whitehead’s 1901 historic first flight in Fairfield and Bridgeport, which took place prior to the 1903 flight of the Wright Brothers in Kitty Hawk, N.C.

As a result of aviation historian John Brown’s discovery of a panoramic photograph from 1901 showing Whitehead’s inaugural flight, the authoritative aviation publication, Jane’s All the World’s Aircraft, recently endorsed Whitehead as “first in flight.”

The Fairfield Board of Selectmen will honor Andy Kosch on Wednesday, Aug. 21, for leading a team that built and flew a replica of Gustave Whitehead’s airplane in 1986 proving the air-worthiness of the design and refuting many Whitehead critics. Kosch will be honored at the Board of Selectmen meeting in Independence Hall at 4:30 p.m.

“This recent revelation that Whitehead was first in flight is exciting and historic for the town of Fairfield,” Tetreau said. “Our town is very proud that one of our own has made an unforgettable legacy through his ingenuity and leap of faith.”

For more information on Whitehead, the public may call the first selectman’s office at 203-256-3030 or the Fairfield Museum & History Center at 203-259-1598 or visit

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