Outer Banks native, Johnny Moore, was a teenager in 1903. He was one of only five people who witnessed the Wright Brothers’ first flight on Dec. 17 of that year. According to legend, Moore raced down the beach shouting, “They done it, they done it, damned if they ain’t flew!” By 1948 he was the only surviving witness to that historic event.
Moore, a commercial fisherman, continued to live on Little Colington Island, just west of Kill Devil Hills, until his death in 1952. According to his granddaughter, Karen Brickhouse (see link below), “Grandaddy would go out there and talk to [the Wright Brothers]. He would give them fish
and the Wright Brothers would give him eggs in return. He always liked
them and got to know them real well."
Today, life-size bronze sculptures of Johnny Moore and the other witnesses are displayed at the Wright Brothers National Memorial in Kill Devil Hills.
To read more about Johnny Moore, follow these links:
Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of Beatrice Wells, child evangelist, who preached at Ocracoke in the late 1930s/early 1940s. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news022116.htm.