Happy Birthday Fort Myer!
PS ... You too can own an autographed copy of the book "Images of America - Fort Myer" ... The First Book About this Historic US Army Post. It contains over 200 "timeless historic photographs" which chronicle the first 100 years of the Post.
- Birthplace of military aviation,
- Birthplace of the National Weather Service,
- Home of the US Army Signal Corps School,
- The JEEP was tested and approved on Fort Myer,
- Home of the US Army Band since 1942,
- Home of The Old Guard since 1948
- Society Circus (which I believe evolved into "Spirit of America")
Military Aviation - A New Way To TravelWhen the US Army asked the Wright brothers to return to Fort Myer in 1909, it was the beginning of a new era in travel. In spite of the crash on September 17, 1908, where a propeller shattered and the airplane along with its two occupants - Orville Wright and Lieutenant Thomas Selfridge - fell from the sky. They were at approximately 100 feet. (The crash injured both of them - Orville had broken bones in his leg and ribs while Lieutenant Selfridge suffered a concussion resulting in him passing a few hours later).
Wright Brothers Return to Fort MyerOrville had healed from his injuries and was ready to fly again. Tests resumed in July of 1909 with a newer version of the Wright Flyer and the trials were well attended on the drill field of Fort Myer. On July 30, 1909, Lieutenant Benjamin D. Foulois as the passenger and Orville at the controls flew from Fort Myer to Alexandria, Virginia and return at a speed in excess of 42 miles an hour and covering 10 miles. This concluded the final tests. On August 2, 1909, the Signal Corps accepted the Wright Flyer as the world's first military aircraft, naming it Signal Corps Airplane No. 1. It was onto College Park, Maryland for training.
More in the BookImages of America - Fort Myer chronicles the first one hundred years of this historic US Army Post with a combination of telling narrative and over 200 historical photographs. As One of the nearly seventy forts constructed during the US Civil War - The Defenses of Washington - when then it was known as Fort Whipple, Fort Myer continues its mission of defending the US Capital of Washington DC. It's also home to The US Army Band (TUSAB) - "Pershing's Own" and the 3d US Infantry - "The Old Guard" which are two elite ceremonial units of the US Army.
The availability date JUNE 13, 2011, is quickly approaching for the book - "Images of America - Fort Myer" Virginia. The reaction from those who have previewed the book and the over 200 historic images within has been very gratifying and complimentary. From a noted historian: "You've done yeoman work here in both research and composition" From a previous member of The Old Guard: "Outstanding work, it really goes back in time to tell the story of a significant US Army Post." From a retired US Army Colonel: "Where did you ever find that note from Abraham Lincoln to General Totten? It's priceless!"Within the book there are presented many different influences that shaped and molded Fort Myer. With origins during the US Civil War as Fort Whipple - one of the 70 fortifications which protected Washington DC - this US Army Post has contributed much to the United States through the efforts of :
- US Army Signal Corps
- US Army Cavalry
- US Army Field Artillery
- US Army - Women's Army Corps
- US Army Band - "Pershing's Own"
- US Army 3d Infantry Regiment - "The Old Guard"
- First home of the US Signal Corps School
- First home of the National Weather Service (1870)
- First US Army Cavalry Showcase
- First military aviation flight (1908)
- First military aviation fatality (1908)
- First ROTC training