Not Again!

by Dr. Richard Stimson

in Others

The January 2005 of Carolina Journal, a monthly journal of news, analysis and commentary, contained the following article:

Ohio Targeted for Aviation Claims

No longer able to tolerate its false claims based on the location of Wilbur and Orville’s origins, NC Attorney General Roy Cooper said he will sue the state of Ohio for claiming to be the “birthplace of aviation.”

He said the “clearly false assertion” was undermining North Carolina’s long time reputation for being “first in flight,” and therefore harming its tourism and ultimately, its esteem.

“As self-established arbiter of linguistic integrity,” Cooper said, “I say Ohio’s motto is pure hogwash. They are ‘birthplace of aviators’ perhaps, but not aviation.”

Cooper said he would demand that Ohio replace all license plates that promote the slogan, and that the state remove the phrase from all state advertising. He said it would be unethical for lawmakers there to not remedy the situation.

After all, the Wright brothers could have chosen the winds off lake Erie to test their plane, Cooper said. “But they came to the Outer Banks instead. So, if they don’t take care of this, then phooey on Ohio!”

Comment: I thought we saw the end of this debate before the centennial celebration, but apparently not. Ohio has the right to the claim of being “birthplace of aviation” for the clear fact that the Wright Flyer and its predecessor kites and gliders were conceived, designed and built in Dayton, Ohio.

The Wrights selected Kitty Hawk as the site for flight testing because of its wind, sand, and isolation.

I know Roy Cooper and think very highly of him. I voted for him. But in this case he is wrong. This argument about mottoes is becoming tiresome. It is time to move on.

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