Section 10 - National Commemorative Issues
The Centennial of Flight Commission wrote to the Chairperson of the Citizens Stamp Advisory Committee on November 9, 2000, requesting consideration of the issuance of a new U.S. stamp to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the first powered flight made by Wilbur and Orville Wright on December 17, 1903. General Dailey, Chairperson of the Centennial of Flight Commission, asked his fellow Commissioners to present similar requests. On November 17, 2001, the Centennial of Flight Commission received a response saying, "We have made preliminary plans to commemorate this event in 2003, but we are not prepared to release the details at this time." The Centennial of Flight Commission understands from several different sources that plans are underway to issue a centennial stamp.
In November 1997, federal legislation was passed directing the U.S. Mint to produce a commemorative coin honoring the Wright brothers and their achievements. The First Flight Centennial Foundation forwarded design suggestions to the U.S. Mint in August 2001. The Foundation will receive revenue from this program in the form of surcharges awarded on a matching basis. Surcharges are estimated at $4 to $9 million, depending upon matching funds being secured. Surcharges from the sale of the coin are legislated for the use of: (1) repairing, refurbishing and maintaining the Wright Brothers Monument on the Outer Banks of North Carolina; and (2) expanding or, if necessary, replacing, and maintaining the visitor center and other facilities at the Wright Brothers National Memorial Park on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, including providing educational programs and exhibits for visitors.
A quarter commemorating the Wright brothers' first flight was unveiled in Raleigh, N.C. on March 12, 2001, by U.S. Representative Etheridge, Governor Easley and U.S. Mint Director Johnson. This quarter was the 12th quarter released in the 50 State Quarter program.
In April 2002, the Ohio quarter will be unveiled as part of the 50 State Quarter program. Ohio has selected a design that features the Wright Flyer and astronaut John Glenn, with the slogan "Birthplace of Aviation Pioneers." The U.S. Mint has final design authority.
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