More Wright Brothers Facts

Here are a few more interesting facts you may not know about the Wright Brothers!

  • The first woman to fly was Mrs. Hart O Berg. Mrs. Berg and her husband often accompanied Wilbur to various flying fields where he demonstrated his machine.
  • The first flight in Dayton occurred on September 22nd, 1910, as part of Aviation Day in Dayton. Orville flew from Huffman Prairie Flying Field in a Wright Model B flying machine. He circled the city and returned to the starting point. There were over 100,000 people to witness the flight, which lasted 33 minutes and spanned 25 miles.
  • After achieving the first flight on December 17th, 1903, Wilbur and Orville’s brother Lorin presented the story to Dayton Journal representative Frank Tunison. Tunison blew off the story, stating that a 19 second flight was not newsworthy. The first story to be run was an inaccurate piece which appeared in the Virginian Pilot and was reprinted in the Cincinnati Enquirer and the New York American. Later that day, Dayton Daily News ran an accurate story of the flight, and the Dayton Herald summarized the inaccurate version. The brothers’ flight finally made the pages of the Dayton Journal on December 19th.

Wright Brothers – Did you know?

There is so much known about Dayton’s own flying brothers, but did you know:

  • When Wilbur knew he was dying of typhoid fever, he called his lawyer, Ezra Kuhns, to make his Last Will and Testament. To his father Milton, he left $1,000. To his brothers Reuchlin and Lorin and his sister Katharine, he left $50,000 each. The remaining balance, which was over $100,000 (plus patent rights and shares) were left to Orville. Wilbur wrote in his will that he was sure Orville would use the money in very much the same manner as they would together if they were both to live to old age.
  • Also in his will, Orville left $300,000 to Oberlin College following the fulfillment of the following lifetime annuities: Lorin was to receive $4,000 per year, Reuchlin’s Widow Lulu was to receive $500 per year, Orville’s secretary Mabel was to receive $3,000 per year, and a few staff members received a yearly stipend as well. The files, notes, and other flight memorabilia were to be dispersed to museums and institutes.
  • The Wright Special, one of the brands of bicycle the brothers created, did not sell many units. According to the financial ledgers, only eight were sold.
  • Hawthorn Hill, site of the Wright House, was named so because of the Hawthorn trees growing on the land.

Gina Ferraro is back!

Gina Ferraro is back! Dayton Unknown has missed listening to Jeff, Kristi, Dave, and Gina on the Mix Morning Show, and we are thrilled to have her back on the airwaves!

Gina will be joining the lineup of the Bobby Bones Show, After Midnight with Granger Smith, Wazz in the Afternoon, and Kasper at Night on WZDA (New Country 103.9). She will be airing weekdays from 10am-3pm. Gina’s resume includes Mix 107.7, Channel 99.9, Warm 98.5, Traffic Reporter and co-host for WUSN (US99) and WIND-AM(AM560 The Answer), and evening traffic anchor for 720 WGN Radio. You can also see Gina’s writing talent on BET+ in the form of the film “Unfinished”.
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Jewish Cultural Festival 2022

If you’re looking for something to do this weekend, head on out to the Jewish Cultural Festival at Temple Israel on Sunday June 12 between 11 am and 7 pm, located at 130 Riverside Drive.

This festival involves over 150 volunteers contributing their time to serve food, perform, lead tours, and answer questions about Judaism, all to welcome everyone to share the Jewish experience.

Some highlights for this years events are:

  • Interactive, hands-on projects for children and a giant inflatable slide.
  • Baked goods such as rugelach, hamentaschen, mandel bread, honey cake, and challah.
  • There will be interactive sessions featuring local and regional speakers including rabbis.
  • Crafts will include a market to showcase Jewish and Israeli arts and crafts including woodworking, clothing, jewelry, ceramics, and accessories from local and regional artisans.
  • If you’re feeling lucky, try your chances to win one of five prize bundles worth over a total of $4500.

Bring items to donate to Crayons to Classrooms and Daybreak or stay to make a toy to be donated to SICSA.

Marshall Weiss will be just outside the Jewish Federation tent on Sunday from 11-2, with copies of his new book Stories of Jewish Dayton. Get a chance to meet him in person and get a copy of his book!

Eddie Breen

Eagles can fly, but can’t talk; parrots can’t really fly but can talk; so I just think I’m an Eagle.” Orville Wright to Eddie Breen, when asked why he doesn’t say much. Eddie Breen would later serve as pallbearer at Orville’s funeral.

Eddie Breen served as Mayor of Dayton from 1946-1948 then served as a member of the US House of Representatives from Ohio’s 3rd District.

Eddie had many notable members of his family, including:

  • John Breen, who along with John Ohmer had invented and manufactured the Taxi Meter. They originally planned to take the maiden voyage of the Titanic but opted instead to continue their sales trip in Europe.
  • Maurice Breen, who smuggled runaway slaves in his wagon among parts for railway construction.
  • Bernadina Focke and her sons, who set up a card table in the Arcade selling meat. This business would become a successful meat packing business that lasted until 1972.
  • Mary Lousie Breen, who spied for FDR in France and Germany during WWII.
  • Marie Berno Focke, who sang and danced with Fred Astaire in the 1920s.

Eddie Breen died on May 8, 1991, and is buried at Calvary Cemetery. For more information about these events and more stories about this family, check out the book Lucky Eddie, by Edward Focke Breen.

The Future of A World A’Fair

This time of year, we would normally be sharing all about A World A’Fair and how excited we are to attend.

Unfortunately, the event has been cancelled for the third year in a row. According to a statement on their website:
Unfortunately, due to the uncertainties surrounding Covid-19 and its variants plus uncertainties surrounding the Convention Center’s new ownership and management, the festival board has decided to cancel the May 2022 festival and study revamping the festival, pretty much from scratch. We have formed a committee to study what our options might be and as any decisions are made they’ll be presented here.

We hope to see the festival return in the future! Here are some pictures from past years.

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Sara is Speaking at Wright Library!

Have you had a chance to hear about Sara’s book? If you’d like to hear some background info and purchase the book from Sara, come see her Author Visit at Wright Library!

Where:
Wright Memorial Public Library
1776 Far Hills Avenue
Oakwood, Ohio 45410

Whene:
Wednesday, May 11th
7pm-8pm

As always, Sara’s book is available to purchase online as well! You can get an autographed copy directly from Sara or from the sites listed on our Where to Buy page!

Benjamin Robbins

Benjamin Robbins is one of the founders of Centerville, along with his brothers-in-law, Benjamin Archer, and Aaron Nutt, Sr..

Robbins was born in New Jersey in 1760 and was a surveyor and farmer. He married Bathsheba Nutt (Aaron’s sister) in 1782. Throughout their marriage, they had a total of 12 children:

  • Nancy (1783-1858)
  • Richard (1784-1837)
  • Abigail (1787-1854)
  • Elizabeth (1790-1879)
  • Benjamin (1791-1792)
  • Rebecca (1793-????)
  • Samuel (1795-1862)
  • Aaron (1797-1825)
  • Levi (1800-1866)
  • twins Mary (1803-1833) and John (1803-1805)
  • Bathsheba (1806-1845)

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Sara was on a Podcast!

Sara was a guest on the local podcast An Hour of Your Life to talk about her book!

An Hour of Your Life was a finalist for the 2019 Best Local Podcast, and Sara had a great time chatting with Steve and Kim Harmon. You can listen to Sara’s episode here.

Check out An Hour of Your Life’s Facebook, or follow them anywhere you can listen to Podcasts – Amazon, Apple, etc..