At the dawn of the 20th Century, inside a small shed on the windswept beaches of Kitty Hawk, N.C., a machine was taking shape that would alter the course of history. With a mania for secrecy, Wilbur and Orville Wright were tooling away on the Wright Flyer, a heavier-than-air contraption that was to defy widespread opinion—even among many leaders of science—that manned flight was virtually impossible.
Looking at the grainy photo here, a single image that has come to signify the birth of modern aviation, it may be hard for some to imagine that in their time the Wright brothers withstood immense doubt, criticism, and all-out condemnation. In fact, the brothers could not persuade a single newspaper to dispatch a reporter to cover their first flight. Newspaper editors, cynical from too many other far-fetched—and failed—flying attempts, considered the idea of the brothers getting airborne preposterous. The man whom the brothers recruited to document their takeoff was John T. Daniels, a volunteer fireman stationed at the Kill Devil Hills Life Saving Station near the beaches of Kitty Hawk
Therein lies the beauty of dreams. With the passing of time, the obsessive pursuits of dreamers might be proven wrong or vindicated. But regardless of the final result, there is always an inherent magic in people who believe in an idea and follow their dream.