In 1899, Orville and Wilbur Wright had never heard of Kitty Hawk, N.C.
Requesting wind velocities in the Chicago area from the United States Weather Bureau, Professor Willis Moore forwarded copies of the “Monthly Weather Review,” containing average wind speeds from across the country. One station was a small community in the Outer Banks of North Carolina.
Ironically, Wilbur had a friend and fellow aviation pioneer, Octave Chanute, in North Carolina who calculated gliding experiments. He suggested that the Atlantic coasts of South Carolina and Georgia would provide steady seasonal breezes.
Kitty Hawk’s Weather Bureau observer, Joseph Dosher, convinced the brothers to select Kitty Hawk.
Then, a hurricane hit.
More in tomorrow’s column.