Letter of Demand to Nullify Smithsonian-Wright Contractual Agreement

Who flew first? Order the new book “Gustave Whitehead: First in Flight” to find out!

A link to this letter with contract attached is available here for download as a Word or PDF document. I encourage everyone to sign and send in to those who oversee the Smithsonian, according to the laws of the United States.

These are:

Smithsonian Chancellor and Chief Justice of the United States Roberts, Vice President Joe Biden, and the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian, CC: Washington Post Editor and your local media.

On August 31, 2013, the CT Post ran this op-ed concerning the Smithsonian Contract becoming a potential subject of an audit by the US GAO. Contact your members of Congress to request this GAO audit.

“First in flight” still up in the air

“First in flight” still up in the air The former head of the federal General Accounting Office said he would like to see the GAO take a look at the so-called “agreement” between the Wright family and the Smithsonian, seen by many as a linchpin… (read article here)

News article about this Letter of Demand: Smithsonian asked to nullify Wright Brothers first in flight …

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TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN

TO THE SMITHSONIAN CHANCELLOR JUSTICE JOHN G. ROBERTS, JR.

TO THE SMITHSONIAN BOARD OF REGENTS,

TO ALL MEMBERS OF CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA:

On behalf of world educators, students and those who love history, taxpayers of the United States of America, the general public, and all those who seek accuracy in history and desire integrity in our government funded agencies …

  1. WHEREAS the Smithsonian Institution (heretofore referred to as “Smithsonian”) is administrated by the United States of America
  1. WHEREAS the Smithsonian is comprised of 19 museums, 9 research centers, multiple research programs, 13 facilities conducting museum research including the National Air and Space Museum, and 177 Smithsonian affiliate museums in 41 states, Puerto Rico and Panama[1]  [2]  [3]
  1. WHEREAS the Smithsonian’s mission is “the increase and diffusion of knowledge”
  1. WHEREAS the Smithsonian’s vision is to preserve our heritage, “discovering NEW knowledge, and sharing [its] resources with the world”
  1. WHEREAS the Smithsonian declares that it shall carry out ALL [its] work with integrity
  1. WHEREAS the Smithsonian declares that it shall carry out ALL [its] work with the greatest responsibility
  1. WHEREAS the Smithsonian declares that it shall carry out ALL [its] work with accountability
  1. WHEREAS the Smithsonian sets down values in its Strategic Plan that include discovery of new knowledge
  1. WHEREAS the Smithsonian sets down values in its Strategic Plan that include creativity, instilling its work with imagination and innovation
  1.  WHEREAS the Smithsonian sets down values in its Strategic Plan that include excellence in [its] endeavors
  1. WHEREAS the Smithsonian sets down values in its Strategic Plan that include respect for diversity and richness in differences
  1. WHEREAS the Smithsonian sets down values in its Strategic Plan that include striving for organizational excellence
  1. WHEREAS the Smithsonian sets down values in its Strategic Plan that include service to the public and stakeholders
  1.  WHEREAS the Smithsonian sets down Priorities in its Strategic Plan that include broadening access
  1. WHEREAS the Smithsonian sets down Priorities in its Strategic Plan that include strengthening collections
  1. WHEREAS the Smithsonian sets down Priorities in its Strategic Plan that include organizational excellence
  1. WHEREAS Smithsonian has stated in its Strategic Plan that “A Smithsonian that can effectively respond to challenges and grasp opportunities will thrive in the 21st century as a source of pride to Americans and a fount of knowledge and inspiration to the world. “[4]
  1. WHEREAS the Smithsonian is governed by a Board of Regents with 17 members that include the Chief Justice of the United States and the Vice President of the United States; six Congressional members; and nine members of the general public[5]

The members of the Board of Regents are:

  1. WHEREAS the Smithsonian has, as its Chancellor, the Chief Justice of the United States, John G. Roberts Jr.
  1. INSOFAR as the Smithsonian has signed an Agreement with the co-executors of the Orville Wright Estate in November 23, 1948, [heretofore to be referred to as “the Contract”] in order to acquire and retain “the Wright Aeroplane of 1903” [popularly known as “the Wright Flyer”], that sells the “the Wright Aeroplane of 1903” to the United States of America for $1 subject to the terms of a “Contract”[6]
  1. INSOFAR as the Smithsonian has signed “the Contract” requiring special placement of the “the Wright Aeroplane of 1903”
  1. INSOFAR as the Smithsonian has signed “the Contract” which provides for restrictive recognition of the Wright Brothers as inventors and builders of “the World’s First Power-Driven Heavier-than-Air Machine in Which Man Made Free, Controlled and Sustained Flight”
  1. INSOFAR as the Smithsonian has signed “the Contract” which requires a statement to that effect be placed on the label for “the Wright Aeroplane of 1903”; which statement provides credit to Orville Wright as the first man “in the history of the world to fly in free flight, sailing forth without reduction of speed, landing without wreckage”;
  1. INSOFAR as the Smithsonian has signed “the Contract” which forbids the Smithsonian Institution or its successors nor any museum or other agency, bureau or facilities administered for the United States of America by the Smithsonian Institution or its successors, [to] publish or permit to be displayed a statement or label in connection with or in respect of any aircraft model or design of earlier date than the Wright Aeroplane of 1903, claiming in effect that such aircraft was capable of carrying a man under its own power in controlled flight”.[7]
  1. INSOFAR as the executive heads of all federal government departments and agencies have received a memorandum, under the “the Open Government Initiative”[8], signed by President Obama on January 21, 2009,  that includes the following:

“My Administration is committed to creating an unprecedented level of openness in Government.  We will work together to ensure the public trust and establish a system of transparency, public participation, and collaboration. Openness will strengthen our democracy and promote efficiency and effectiveness in Government.

Government should be transparent.  Transparency promotes accountability and provides information for citizens about what their Government is doing.  Information maintained by the Federal Government is a national asset. My Administration will take appropriate action, consistent with law and policy, to disclose information rapidly in forms that the public can readily find and use. Executive departments and agencies should harness new technologies to put information about their operations and decisions online and readily available to the public. Executive departments and agencies should also solicit public feedback to identify information of greatest use to the public.” (Memorandum on Transparency and Open Government, Jan. 21, 2009)

  1. INSOFAR as the executive heads of all federal government departments and agencies have received a directive, under the “the Open Government Directive”, issued December 8, 2009, to take specific actions to “publish government information online, improve the quality of government information, create and institutionalize a culture of open government” [9]
  1. I HEREBY REQUEST that the Smithsonian Institution immediately and permanently prominently post on its website a certified, true and complete scanned copy of the aforementioned signed “Contract” between the United States Government (Smithsonian Institution) and the co-executors of the Estate of Orville Wright of November 23, 1948, concerning the acquisition of the Wright Aeroplane of 1903
  1. I HEREBY SUBMIT that “the Contract” signed by the Smithsonian and the co-executors of the Wright Estate, with it specific terms and requirements pertaining to the purchased acquisition and retention of the ” Wright Aeroplane of  1903″ for Smithsonian, signed November 23, 1948, creates bias and stifles inquiry, interferes with the Mission, Values and Strategic Plan of the Smithsonian Institution, the work of its employees, and all its affiliates.
  1.  I HEREBY SUBMIT that “the Contract” signed by the Smithsonian and the co-executors of the Wright Estate, with it specific terms and requirements pertaining to the purchased acquisition and retention of the  Wright Aeroplane of  1903 for Smithsonian, signed November 23, 1948 be immediately stricken down and nullified, and that ownership of the Wright Aeroplane of 1903 be renegotiated with appropriate legal remedies, in accordance with the Mission, Values and Strategic Plan of the Smithsonian Institution, or returned to the heirs of Orville Wright.
  1. I HEREBY REQUEST a Congressional investigation of the implications and results of Smithsonian’s Secretary having signed such a “Contract”, as well as the conduct and biases of the employees of Smithsonian Institution, including but not limited to those pertaining to crediting early aviation history and pioneers, particularly those who may have been first-to-fly, or made significant contributions to developing flight..
  1. I HEREBY REQUEST appropriate direction from Congress, the Board of Regents and Chancellor of the Smithsonian for Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum (NASM) and its related affiliates to apply and put into practice Mission, Values and Strategic Plan of the Smithsonian Institution.
  1. I HEREBY REQUEST for additional independent monitoring and feedback regarding NASM and the Smithsonian in these areas by independent stakeholder members of the public who will report publicly at least yearly, to Congress and the American people.
  1. I HEREBY REQUEST appropriate directives from Congress, the Board of Regents and Chancellor of the Smithsonian, to prevent any future or current Contractual Agreements, terms of purchases, loans, or donations from limiting inquiry and dissemination of knowledge, or any additional portions of the Mission, Values and Strategic Plan or bylaws of the Smithsonian Institution.

 

Sign this Letter of Demand (LOD) too and send it to those Governing the Smithsonian http://www.si.edu/Governance/Members with a cover letter if possible, addressed to Chancellor Chief Justice John G Roberts, Jr., and the Board of Regents, including Vice President Joseph Biden, contact info located at http://www.si.edu/Governance/Contact

 

PLEASE POST ON YOUR FB PAGE, TO YOUR EMAIL LIST, AND SHARE WIDELY

(Signatories below and attached)

 

1. Signatory: Date: _____________

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(printed name)

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(signature)

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(address)

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(city, state, zip)

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(country)

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(email address)

 

2. Signatory: Date: _____________

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(printed name)

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(signature)

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(address)

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(city, state, zip)

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(country)

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(email address)


[1] https://affiliations.si.edu/DetailPage.Asp?MenuID=32

[2] http://www.si.edu/ResearchCenters

[3] http://www.si.edu/ResearchCenters/Museum-Research

[4] http://www.si.edu/About/Mission

Our Mission: The increase and diffusion of knowledge; Our Vision: Shaping the future by preserving our heritage, discovering new knowledge, and sharing our resources with the world ; Our Values: Discovery: Explore and bring to light new knowledge and ideas, and better ways of doing business; Creativity: Instill our work with imagination and innovation;Excellence: Deliver the highest-quality products and services in all endeavors; Diversity: Capitalize on the richness inherent in differences

Integrity: Carry out all our work with the greatest responsibility and accountability

Service: Be of benefit to the public and our stakeholders; Our Priorities: Four Grand Challenges: Focus on the four grand challenges outlined in the Smithsonian Strategic Plan; Broadening Access: Digitizing our collections, exploring next-generation technologies and improving the visitor experience, Revitalizing Education: Serve as a laboratory to create models and methods of innovative informal education and link them to formal education system, Crossing Boundaries: Establish interdisciplinary consortia around each of the four grand challenges, Strengthening Collections: Develop collections plan to support Institution-wide initiatives, Organizational Excellence: Strengthen organizational services that allow us to deliver on our mission, Measuring Performance: Establish performance indicators that will specifically and annually measure progress toward our goals.

 

[5] http://www.si.edu/Governance/Members

[6] http://www.gustave-whitehead.com/history-of-whitehead-critics/contract-signed-1948-11-23-by-smithsonian-and-wright-heirs/

[7] Agreement signed November 23, 1948 between the Wright Estate (signed by co-executors Harold S. Miller and Harold W. Steeper) and United States of America, (signed by the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, Alexander Wetmore) in order to acquire the Wright Aeroplane of 1903. http://newsdesk.si.edu/sites/default/files/Wright-Contract.pdf

[8] http://www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_office/TransparencyandOpenGovernment/

[9] http://www.whitehouse.gov/open/documents/open-government-directive