The Wright Brothers National Memorial in Kill Devil Hills. Photo courtesy of the National Park Service
The Wright Brothers National Memorial in Kill Devil Hills. Photo courtesy of the National Park Service

The Wright Brothers National Memorial in Kill Devil Hills will join national parks across the country in celebrating the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday by waiving entrance fees on Monday, Jan. 18. 

Wind, sand and a dream of flight brought Wilbur and Orville Wright of Dayton, Ohio, to Kitty Hawk.

In 1902, the Wrights made 250 glides in just two days and tallied more than 1,000 glides in one month. From the hills, they perfected the art of soaring and control of the aircraft.

After four years of scientific experimentation, they achieved the first successful airplane flights on Dec. 17, 1903.  On Oct. 24, 1911, Orville Wright established a new world soaring record in a 50 mile-per-hour wind of nine minutes and 45 seconds. This remained a world’s record for 10 years.
With courage and perseverance, these self-taught engineers relied on teamwork and application of the scientific process. What they achieved changed our world forever.

In addition, on Jan. 18, the National Park Service staff will volunteer that day from 10 a.m. to noon at Fort Raleigh National Historic Site in Manteo with the removal of vegetation along the site’s roadway and trails.

The public is invited to join the efforts.

Interested volunteers are asked to meet park staff at the Lindsay Warren Visitor Center.  Volunteers should bring leather gloves, eye protection (sunglasses), water, snacks and bug spray. Wear appropriate clothing, including closed toe shoes, pants, and long-sleeve shirts. Children under the age of 18 must have a parent or legal guardian with them.

In 1994, to recognize Dr. King’s incredible legacy of service, Congress designated the Martin Luther King Jr. (MLK) federal holiday as a national day of service to leverage the strength of local citizens to help tackle local problems and advance King’s dream of opportunity for all.  MLK Day of Service is the only federal holiday observed as a national day of service–a “day on, not a day off.”

For more information, call 252-475-9042.

This year, the National Park Service celebrates 100 years, and events are scheduled at National Parks across the country.  For details, visit

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