A Century of Flight

December 17th marks the centennial anniversary of Orville and Wilbur Wright's famous flight. On December 17th, 1903, near Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, the Wright brothers' airplane made four sustained flights, which is widely accepted as the first manned flight. However, there is much debate over who was truly the first man to fly, and the Wrights never claimed they were the first to fly. The true importance of their airplane was the control it offered to the pilot. While others might have sustained flight in gliders or other aircraft, the Wright's airplane allowed the pilot to steer the craft in three dimensions (roll, pitch and yaw). And the very same principles behind the mechanisms they created out of bicycle parts in the early 1900s are employed on today's YF-22 Raptor supersonic jets.  The Wrights are also credited with the concept of using miniature models in wind tunnels to simulate the effects of lift and drag on contoured wing surfaces as well as many other amazing avionic achievements.

Chanukah begins on December 20th, and winter officially begins on December 22nd.

Former Vice President Al Gore publicly gives his support to Democrat Howard Dean. Of Dean and his constituency, Gore says "I have come to the conclusion that among all the candidates, Howard Dean and you have managed to do a better job of igniting enthusiasm at the grass roots all across the United States of America."

Saddam Hussein is captured by U.S. forces on December 13th. The former dictator was found in an eight-foot hole on a farm near Tikrit, Iraq. Hussein surrenders without a fight, but he refuses to talk to interrogators.

December 17th marks the release of "Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King." The third segment in the trilogy stars Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Viggo Mortensen, Liv Tyler, Sean Astin, Cate Blanchett, Orlando Bloom, Billy Boyd and Ian Holm.

Christmas is on December 25th, and millions of Americans shop conveniently from home via the internet.  Brick and mortar stores enjoy their seasonal profits as well while many purchase their holiday gifts.  Traditionally, some people attend church services to celebrate the holy day.

December 25th marks the opening of "Cheaper by the Dozen." The film stars Steve Martin and Bonnie Hunt as parents of 12 children. The film also features Piper Perabo, Tom Welling, Hillary Duff, Kevin Schmidt, Alyson Stoner, Jacob Smith and an uncredited appearance by Ashton Kucher.

Here are some links for December: 

  • Judaism 101: Chanukah - Delivers historic information about the Jewish holiday as well as traditions associated with the December celebration.
  • Christmas Gifts and Gift Baskets - Shop for an assortment of Christmas gifts, including chocolates, cookies, cakes, gift baskets and gift towers plus special gifts for men and women. 
  • CNN.com: Saddam Hussein Captured - Special feature from the cable news network offers a wealth of details surrounding the capture of the deposed dictator.