This is NOT a baseball story; but the beginning of a series of blogs related to a very significant event from Petaluma’a past – almost 100 years ago, to be exact.
On February 17, 1911, a local pioneer aviator by the name of Fred J. Wiseman made a flight from Petaluma to Santa Rosa that took two days. (That’s right, two days. We’ll write about the WHY? in future blogs.) The following excerpt from the web site for the Air Mail Pioneers documents the “crowning achievements” of early flights and also explains why this blog is titled, Who’s On First?
“Earle Ovington, in his perky little Bleriot, the Dragonfly, grabbed aviation’s golden ring when U.S. Postmaster General Frank H. Hitchcock authorized him to fly the nation’s first airmail. Ovington was honored on September 23, 1911, the day he made the memorable flight, and historians have venerated him ever since as the daring young man who launched America into the civil aviation age.
But another American flyboy clambered into the sky in 1911, six full months before Ovington’s precedent-setting flight. His name was Fred Wiseman. Authorized by Santa Rosa, California’s postmaster, he flew his home-made craft from point to point, carrying the mail – three letters, a sack of coffee and 50 copies of the local newspaper. He claimed at the time, and his supporters still do, that he was world’s first airmail pilot.”Stay tuned as we spread additional information about this two day flight (February 17-18, 1911) over the next 12 months and culminate with a Centennial Celebration event in February, 2011.