The following information and pictures were obtained from the Dayton/Montgomery County Convention and Visitors Bureau web site.
Dayton is home to the Birthplace of Aviation, to powered flight inventors Wilbur and Orville Wright, and to many prominent sites, famous people, and wonderful innovations. Indeed, Dayton is home to aviation, great attractions and historical sites, fantastic arts venues, a thriving downtown, beautiful parks, a variety of sporting sites, and fabulous shopping and dining.
Visit Dayton and you will discover its rich background of famous inventors, writers, actors, and other sons and daughters who have gone on to shape the course of history with their words, deeds, and innovations. Among these history-making sons and daughters are famous brothers, Orville and Wilbur Wright, who not only called this great city their home, but also taught the world to fly.
Using their knowledge as bicycle builders and their powers of observation, they developed the first heavier-than-air flying machine at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, in 1903. From that first invention grew the basis for Dayton’s Wright Company School of Aviation. And with that, the science of aviation was born in Dayton, giving it the title, “The Birthplace of Aviation”.
Indeed, the brothers’ legacy permeates museums and landmarks throughout Dayton and Montgomery County, such as Aviation Trail Inc., Carillon Historical Park, the Wright Brothers Collection in the archives of Wright State University, and a collection of military aircraft at the United States Air Force Museum, the oldest and largest military aviation museum in the world.
The Wright brothers weren’t the only Greater Daytonians to bestow excellence upon the world. Dayton is home to C. F. Kettering, who devised the automatic self-starter for the automobile in 1912. Leland C. Clark, also of Dayton, created the heart-lung machine in 1956. Other notable inventions created by famous Daytonians include the cash register and room air conditioner.
Considering the major corporations that make their headquarters in Greater Dayton, and the fact that Wright-Patterson Air Force Base is located in the area, it’s not surprising that Dayton has one of the highest concentrations of technical experts in the world and outranks cities double its size in the number of patents issued.
Paul Laurence Dunbar, African-American writer and poet laureate and boyhood friend of the Wright brothers, is among the many other prominent people for whom Dayton is home. His home is a museum that offers a glimpse into his life as a writer. Author John Jakes, baseball star Mike Schmidt, actor Martin Sheen, and witty author and syndicated columnist Erma Bombeck, all have called Greater Dayton home.
The Dayton arts community rivals those of larger metropolitan areas and continues to thrive into an even greater arts and cultural center that will awe visitors well into the next millennium. The Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra, the Dayton Ballet, and the Dayton Opera Company, present critically acclaimed works in both classic and contemporary styles. The crowning jewel of the city’s performance venues is the Benjamin and Marian Schuster Performing Arts Center, which these institutions call home. The Schuster Center is also where large touring shows are presented by the Victoria Theatre Association. Yet another widely recognized performing arts group is the Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, which has been presenting world-class contemporary dance in Dayton since 1968.
More exciting things are happening in downtown Dayton. The RiverScape development project has injected even greater vitality into Dayton’s already flourishing downtown. Highlights of this first phase of development include a Festival Plaza, a Five Rivers Fountain, an Inventor’s Walk and a pedestrian area.
Dayton has once again become home to professional, minor-league baseball. The Dayton Dragons, the Cincinnati Reds’ Class A affiliate, make their home in the city’s new Fifth Third Field. Since its inaugural year in 2000, every season has been a complete sell-out before the opening game. The team enjoys a streak of over 700 consecutive sell-out games.
Dayton hosted the world in 2003, the 100th anniversary of the Wright’s first successful powered flight. The year-long celebration included special events at venues throughout the area. Recently, the NCR Country Club hosted the 2005 U.S. Senior Open, one of the most prestigious tournaments on the professional tour.
The Dayton metropolitan area has a population of nearly one million. This great Midwestern city lies at the crossroads of America and is easily accessible via land or air. By air, Dayton lies within 90 minutes of 55 percent of the U.S. population. In response to a projected steady rise in passenger air travel and cargo operations over the next 20 years, the Dayton International Airport has plans for expansion.
For more information about the Dayton area, go to any of the following web sites:
Dayton/Montgomery County Convention and Visitors Bureau:
Downtown Dayton Partnership: