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Dayton Legacy Gets Boost with National Designation
McDonald and Mike Parks at the new Wright Brothers National
Dayton, Ohio, now officially will be known as the place to learn about all things Wright Brothers and where the history of aviation began.
Dayton History announced last week that it has received a national designation for its aviation center, recently renamed as the John W. Berry, Sr. Wright Brothers National Museum. Brady Kress, CEO of Dayton History, and Congressman Michael Turner have led efforts over the past five years to secure the designation for the museum, which has more Wright artifacts on display than any place in the world. This includes the 1905 Wright Flyer III - the only airplane designated a National Historic Landmark, the world’s first practical flying machine and what Orville considered the Wrights’ most important aircraft.
At the news conference announcing the national designation, Dayton History also unveiled recent updates and expansions to the museum that include additional Wright artifacts and displays. The Harry A. Toulmin, Jr., and Virginia B. Toulmin Fund of The Dayton Foundation supported the project with a $250,000 grant in 2018. Virginia Toulmin, daughter-in-law of Harry A. Toulmin, Sr., the famed attorney who secured and defended the Wright Brothers’ patent for their flying machine, established an unrestricted endowed fund through The Dayton Foundation before her passing in 2010. She called Dayton home for 41 years.
“People come to The Dayton Foundation because they have a dream or a passion of something they’d like to help in the community. Virginia Toulmin was one of those people. She was proud of her Dayton roots and the history that her husband’s family secured for the Wright Brothers and for the region,” said Mike Parks, president of The Dayton Foundation. “Today, we are making sure that her wishes are carried out in the community through her Dayton Foundation fund. We know that Virginia would have loved this project and would be happy to support this effort to ensure that Dayton continues to be known around the world as the birthplace of aviation.”
Learn more about Virginia Toulmin and the legacy of good she left for Greater Dayton.
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