On Thursday, the verbal arguments over who was actually the first to fly a powered machine in America came to a head when Rep. Rick Perales, R-Ohio, called a news conference to unveil his plans to introduce a bill affirming the Wright Brothers were the "first in flight."
Things came to the boiling point when it was found out that Connecticut had introduced a bill "denouncing" the Wright Brothers as having been the first people to fly a powered airship, literally writing them out of the history books, according to some lawmakers in Ohio and North Carolina.
Calling the bill "a demeaning falsity," the lawmakers said the nutmeg state should be ashamed of themselves. “If you saw that document where they crossed out the Wright Brothers … it just hurts,” said Perales.
The arguments started seven months ago when John Brown, an Australian aviation historian told FoxNews.com there was photographic proof Gustav Whitehead, a German immigrant flew over Connecticut in 1901, two years, four months and three days before the Wright Brothers made their historic flight.
Brown, calling from Germany in March said, "It’s really a radical revision of the history of aviation."
Ohio and North Carolina have had an ongoing rivalry for years over which state had the bigger claim to fame. The Wrights grew up in Dayton, Ohio, so Ohio lays claim to being the "birthplace of aviation."
North Carolina has Kill Devil Hills, where the Wright Brothers National Memorial sits and where the Wright Brothers entered the history books following their :first" flight at Kitty Hawk, N.C., in December 1903.
Gustav Whitehead and his first flight in 1901
But who was Gustav Whitehead? He was an aviation pioneer who immigrated from Germany to the United States. He designed and built gliders, flying machines and engines between 1897 and 1915. He died in Bridgeport, Conn. in 1927 at the age of 53.
The claims to Whitehead's first flight over Connecticut on August 14, 1901 are based on a newspaper article as told by an eyewitness, saying he had seen Whitehead as he made the first powered flight on that day. The story of that flight made headlines across the country and in Europe for many months after that.
The story was even picked up by Scientific American, and a 1904 book about industrial progress. For years afterward,aviation enthusiasts and historians have debated whether Whitehead or the Wrights were actually the first in flight. There were a number of papers and books written on the subject, including books in 1966 and 1978, supporting the Whitehead claims.
On June 26, 2013 Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy signed into law a measure specifying that Powered Flight Day is in honor of the first powered flight by Gustav Whitehead, rather than the Wright Brothers, and that reingited the whole "Who's first?" argument.