With Orville Wright at the controls and Wilbur Wright mid-stride, right, the 1903 Wright Flyer makes its first flight at Kitty Hawk, NC, Dec. 17, 1903.
Image: Smithsonian Institution / National Air and Space Museum.

On this date in 1903, Wilbur and Orville Wright became the first people to demonstrate sustained flight of a heavier-than-air machine under the complete control of the pilot. Four flights were made that day in Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina, with the longest lasting 59 seconds and traveling 852 feet. See the Library of Congress for photos, correspondence, scrapbooks, and other material from the Wright Brothers here.