Wrong Way Corrigan Day

National Wrong Way Corrigan Day is observed annually on July 17th. This holiday commemorates the transatlantic flight of Douglas Corrigan—an American stunt pilot from Galveston, Texas. What was so significant about this journey was that he had asked for permission to replicate Charles Lindbergh’s flight in a plane that he had rescued from the trash heap. He was denied and told he could fly back to the west coast. He took off and headed west, but then did a 180 and headed east. He turned up 28 hours later in Dublin, Ireland, and the rest is history.

A Brief History Of Douglas Corrigan’s Flight

Douglas Corrigan was one of the mechanics who had worked on Lindbergh’s Spirit of St. Louis aircraft. He became enamored with Charles Lindbergh and decided that he too wanted to attempt a transatlantic flight, so in 1938, he bought a 1929 Curtiss Robin aircraft. This aircraft had previously been in a trash heap, but he was able to use his skills as a mechanic to rebuild and modify it for a long flight.

In July of 1938, Corrigan piloted his single-engine plane to New York all the way from California. After landing in New York, he filed his plans to take on a transatlantic flight but was immediately denied. However, he was told that he could fly the plane westward back to California. After he took off from Floyd Bennett Field heading west, he then immediately turned around and flew back east—eventually disappearing into a cloudbank.

About 28 hours later, Corrigan landed his plane in Dublin, Ireland. The authorities suspended his license, but Corrigan claimed that he lost his direction in the clouds and that his compass malfunctioned. Although the authorities didn’t believe the story, they eventually reinstated the status of his license when his stunt made him into an overnight celebrity.

The History Of National Wrong Way Corrigan Day

National Wrong Way Corrigan Day was first observed in 1987 when the 49th anniversary of Corrigan’s flight was commemorated in Long Island. A parade and everything was thrown in honor of the pilot, who was 80 years old at the time of the celebration. A few years later, in 1992, the pilot’s hometown of Galveston, Texas also proclaimed the day as Wrong Way Corrigan Day. Since then, the holiday has been celebrated annually all over the U.S. ever since.

Observing National Wrong Way Corrigan Day

Anyone wishing to observe National Wrong Way Corrigan Day can do so by remembering Douglas Corrigan. While you’re observing the holiday, you can also use the hashtag #NationalWrongWayCorriganDay on social media to spread the word about this holiday. You can also watch the 1939 biopic about the man himself and the whole incident. This movie is called “The Flying Irishman.

When is it?
This year (2024)
July 17 Wednesday
Next year (2025)
July 17 Thursday
Last year (2023)
July 17 Monday
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