Gustave Whitehead Committee thanks local legislator for efforts

The Gustave Whitehead Advocacy Committee is thanking state Rep. Larry Miller, whose district includes a part of Shelton, for his role in promoting Connecticut as being “First in Powered Flight.”

Gustave Whitehead was a German immigrant who supporters say achieved sustained flight in a heavier-than-air machine in the greater Bridgeport area, a year or two before the Wright Brothers did in Kitty Hawk, N.C. in late 1903.

The state of North Carolina promotes itself as being “First in Flight,” including on that state’s license plates.

This week, the Connecticut House of Representatives officially recognized the state of Connecticut as being "First in Powered Flight.”

Promoting the Whitehead legacy

The Gustave Whitehead Advocacy Committee was formed in 2013 to provide advocacy and education concerning Gustave Whitehead and his "first flight" achievements in Connecticut.

Whitehead lived in Bridgeport and Fairfield in the late 1800s and early 1900s, where he was known as an aviation pioneer. Most of his test flights took place on the shoreline.

Next steps include a new state slogan

The committee now encourages the following steps be taken to further educate the public and establish tourism about Gustave Whitehead’s achievements:

— The Connecticut state Senate should adopt a similar resolution recognizing Connecticut as "First in Powered Flight."

— Connecticut legislators should sponsor a bill to establish Aug. 14 as Powered Flight Day each year, in recognition of Gustave Whitehead’s efforts.

— Establish the state slogan, "First in Powered Flight."

— Establish a special "First in Powered Flight" license plate available for purchase to support development of statewide Gustave Whitehead education and tourism.

— Establish, protect and fund a visitor-friendly Whitehead Trail of Historic Sites.

— Establish and fund a state tourism program based upon Gustave Whitehead’s achievements in powered flight.

— Establish a Gustave Whitehead education program in Connecticut schools.

About state Rep. Larry Miller

State Rep. Larry Miller, a Republican, represents the 122nd District. It includes parts of Shelton, Stratford and Trumbull.

Miller, who lives in Stratford, was first elected to the legislature in 1990.