Dayton Aviation Heritage commemorates three exceptional men - Wilbur Wright, Orville Wright, and Paul Laurence Dunbar - and their work in the Miami Valley.
Through the invention of powered flight, Wilbur and Orville made significant contributions to human history. In their Dayton, Ohio, bicycle shop these two men, self-trained in the science and art of aviation, researched and built the world's first power-driven, heavier-than-air machine capable of free, controlled, and sustained flight. The Wrights also perfected their invention during 1904 and 1905 in their hometown of Dayton.
Paul Laurence Dunbar achieved national and international acclaim in a literary world that was almost exclusively reserved for whites. This gifted and prolific writer produced a body of work that included novels, plays, short stories, lyrics, and over 400 published poems. His work, which reflected much of the African American experience in America, contributed to a growing social consciousness and cultural identity for African Americans in the United States.
The park is a cooperative effort between the National Park Service and four partners. The sites are The Wright Cycle Company complex (The Wright Cycle Company building and the Wright-Dunbar Interpretive Center and Aviation Trail Visitor Center); Huffman Prairie Flying Field and Huffman Prairie Flying Field Interpretive Center; John W. Berry, Sr. Wright Brothers Aviation Center; and the Paul Laurence Dunbar State Memorial.