Tuesday, 22 December 2015

The Wright Brothers

David McCullough is a renowned American author, historian and narrator.  He was born in Pittsburgh in 1933 of Scotch-Irish ancestry.

His parents and his grandmother, who often read to him, introduced him to books at an early age and they also introduced him to history.

As well as writing about American history he has narrated many great television programmes and documentaries including The American Experience and The Civil War.

Earlier this year he wrote a book about The Wright Brothers.  Wilbur and Orville Wright were inventors and pioneers of aviation.  They are credited with inventing and building the world's first aeroplane, which took to the air on 17 December 1903.

Wilbur was born in Indiana and Orville in Ohio and their father was a bishop in the Church of the United Brethren in Christ, a conservative evangelical denomination.  

McCullough's book was one of the most acclaimed books of the year and of the two Wright brothers he said:
They had something many houses didn't have.  They had books.  They had parents who encouraged curiosity about everything.
There were two libraries in the home of Bishop Wright, a theological library and a general library and looking back on his childhood Orville once commented that he had his brother had:
special advantages ... we were lucky enough to grow up in a home environment where there was always much encouragement to children to pursue intellectual interests; to investigate whatever aroused their curiosity.
David McCullough has highlighted two things about the brothers, two things that undoubtedly contributed to their achievements, They had books and they had parents who encouraged them to read and to ask and find out.  Those things were still important when David McCullough was growing up and they are still important today!

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