Aviation Show

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Less than a decade after brothers Orville and Wilbur Wright flew the first gasoline-powered “aeroplane” in North Carolina, Evansville hosted its first aviation meet at the county fairgrounds on the city’s east side, an area that was developed into Akin Park a few years later. Over ten thousand spectators from around the Tri-State gathered to witness the much-publicized two-day event in June 1911, which was sponsored by the Evansville Courier. They were eager to watch the “birdmen” soar into the air, and the crowd was not disappointed. After several mishaps, pioneer aviators Lincoln Beachey (pictured here) and Charles Witmer performed death-defying stunts amid cheering so deafening that it drowned out the drone of the aircraft. 

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