|Letter, Maurice John Bernard Davy to Orville Wright, April 1, 1941|
[Letter, Maurice John Bernard Davy,
Science Museum, to Orville Wright, 1 April 1941].
Subject File: Science Museum--London,
England, 1932-1948, undated. Wilbur and
Orville Wright Papers, Manuscript Division,
Library of Congress.
||During World War II, while the German air force bombed London, M. J. B. Davy, director of the Science
Museum in London, wrote to Orville to assure him that the 1903 machine was safe. The historic plane
had been on display in England for thirteen years and Davy felt the need to explain to Orville why the
machine had not been evacuated to another location. He describes one close call at the museum which
the plane survived and does his best to detail how the British are protecting the flyer.
|Letter, Franklin D. Roosevelt to Orville Wright, November 11, 1943|
[Letter, Franklin D. Roosevelt to Orville Wright,
11 November 1943]. General Correspondence: Roosevelt, Franklin D.,
1933-1936, 1943. Wilbur and Orville Wright Papers,
Manuscript Division, Library of Congress.
With the Wright-Smithsonian dispute essentially resolved in 1942, Orville took unofficial steps to
assure that his machine would be returned to the United States once the war was over. Near the end of
1943, however, President Franklin D. Roosevelt wrote to Orville and suggested that he make this reversal
of his position official and publicly known at the 1943 Collier Trophy dinner. Held in Washington, D.
C. in December of that year to honor the fortieth anniversary of the first flight, the planned ceremony
was altered when the president could not attend and Orville decided not to make an announcement. Orville
did, however, alter his will to guarantee that the plane would ultimately reside in the Smithsonian.
Neither Roosevelt and nor Orville lived to see the plane return to the United States in 1948.