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Bridgeport, Fairfield Honor Whitehead As 'First In Flight'

Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim, U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal,  state Sen. Tony Hwang and Fairfield First Selectman Mike Tetreau stand before a replica of Whitehead's aircraft.
Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim, U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, state Sen. Tony Hwang and Fairfield First Selectman Mike Tetreau stand before a replica of Whitehead's aircraft. Photo Credit: James Perez

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — Local leaders declared Monday “Gustave Whitehead Day,” honoring the 116th anniversary of the inventor’s historic 1901 flight nearly two years before the Wright Brothers’ in 1903.

“Gustave Whitehead was an inventor and immigrant who made a huge impact in the world,” said Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim. “His innovation paved the way for many other inventors and his legacy lives on. Bridgeport is proud to claim him and his contributions in aviation history.”

Ganim joined U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, state Sen. Tony Hwang and Fairfield First Selectman Mike Tetreau in recognizing Germany-born Whitehead at a ceremony at West End Park at the intersection of Fairfield Avenue and State Street in Bridgeport.

Whitehead lived in both Fairfield and Bridgeport before his death in 1927.

City Council representatives, members of Whitehead’s family and Fairfield resident Andy Kosch, who has built a replica of the inventor’s Condor No. 21, joined the festivities.

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