"Memorial Body Always Behind Tower Plans", The Daily Advance (Elizabeth City, N.C.), 18 November 1932
Memorial Body Always Behind Tower Plans
Saunders, President of Kill Devil Hill memorial Association, Tells Original
purpose of body
Constant Effort of Material Assistance in Completion of the Road, the
Bridge, and the Pylon.
"In 1927 an editorial which had originally appeared in the Elizabeth city
Independent was reprinted in a Washington paper. Within a few days," said
W.O. Saunders, editor of the independent," congressman Lindsay Warren of
North Carolina and senator Hiram Bingham of Connecticut presented to their
respective houses bills authorizing the construction at Kill Devil Hill of
a monument to commemorate the first successful human attempt at
power-driven airplane flight.
Neither had conferred with the other on the subject of their bills but the
bills were almost identical. According to Saunders, both men had drawn
their bills in accordance with a previously introduced bill that had not
The 69th congressed passed a bill providing for the construction of the
memorial, appointing a committee composed of the secretary of war, the
Secretary of commerce, and the secretary of the navy to look into the
"The investigating committee ran into difficulties over the inaccessibility
of Kitty Hawk and were unimpressed with the site for the proposed
memorial," says Saunders.
Meanwhile, the imagination of a little group of Elizabeth City men had been
stirred and they were resolved that a fitting tribute should be paid to
the wrights and that the tribute should be accessible. So, on the night if
August 16, 1927, the kill Devil Hills memorial Association was formed.
"The Name." According to Saunders, who was immediately elected president
of the organization and still holds the office, "was selected because of
lack of a better one, and because it is an unusual type and would better
The first object of the association was, in the words of a printed booklet,
"to further a project to bridge Currituck Sound between the mainland and
Kitty Hawk and build a hard surface road from Kitty Hawk to kill Devil
Hills; to make the proposed monument accessible to all Americans by
This object the Association has attained and in its attainment has realized
its major, but unexpressed in the booklet, object- the building of the
monument. "The Association, : said Saunders, 'was the only organized body
that was constantly pushing the project. The National Aeronautical
Association was behind it and cooperated with us to a certain extent; but
with them it was a sideline; with us it has been our only reason for
Saunders also gave congressman Lindsay Warren credit for throwing all his
influence behind the project and continually working to push it through.
The second object of the Association again quoting from the booklet, was
"To provide and airport and suitable accommodations at Kill Devil Hills
for Aviators and aerial tourists who in all the years to come will desire
to make at least one pilgrimage tot he historic shrine of aviation.""
Plans have been made for this, but in the face of economic difficulties
they cannot be gone on with at this time.
"I feel that our object and reason for existence has been attained in a
full measure," said Saunders. 'And I don't know that there is much left
for us to do. But we havenít yet decided what will become of the
Association. It may continue."
The first officers of the Kill Devil Hills Memorial Association in addition
to Saunders, were: J.C.B. Ehringhaus of Elizabeth City, first vice
president; Thomas Nixon of Hertford, second vice president; Dudley W.
Bagley of Moyock, third vice president; and W.G. Gaither of Elizabeth
City, secretary and treasurer. These officers were supported by a regional
advisory council and the organization was forth supplemented by a national
|Citation:|| "Memorial Body Always Behind Tower Plans", The Daily Advance (Elizabeth City, N.C.), 18 November 1932.|
|Location:|| North Carolina Collection, Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC 27858 USA|