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Dayton Unveils Wright Brothers National Museum

Jerry Kenney
From right to left: Congressman Mike Turner, Stephen Wright, Amanda Wright-Lane, Brady Kress.

Dayton’s aviation heritage was on full display Friday morning as Dayton History officials announced Carillon Park is now home to the John W. Berry, Sr. Wright Brothers National Museum.

Formerly known as the Wright Brothers Aviation Center, the federal designation as a national museum is a “game-changer,” says Dayton History president Brady Kress.

Rep. Mike Turner, a Republican who covers Ohio’s 10th District, and Dayton Foundation president Michael Parks were on hand for the unveiling. Also present were Wright Brothers' descendants, the great-grandnephew and great-grandniece Stephen Wright and Amanda Wright-Lane.

Wright-Lane called it a great day for Dayton History and the Wright family.

"I think we’ve always felt like Dayton History quietly had some of the best toys or treasures that are still left from the Wright Brothers story in terms of the camera that took the picture at Kitty Hawk in 1903, and the ‘05 Flyer’ that truly ushered in practical aviation,” she says.

Stephen Wright, who serves the Dayton History board of directors, agrees.

"I think this park is certainly deserving of this designation and of this collection in particular, with the help of the Dayton Foundation, Virginia Toulmin’s fund and the Berry family, they’ve made that happen,” he says.

The national designation of the museum comes after several legislative attempts over the last five years, according to Turner and Kress.  

Final approval came in 2017 when the National Defense Authorization Act was signed into law.