... 1939, by proclamation of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Americans 1st marked National Aviation Day, designed to generate interest in aviation. The annual observance later was codified, at 36 U.S.C. § 118. Why August 19? On this date in 1871 was born Orville Wright, the younger of the Wright brothers who are credited with making the 1st flight (right) in December 1903 in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.