FAIRFIELD — In honor of the 118th anniversary of his historic 1901 flight, First Selectman Mike Tetreau issued a proclomation declaring Wednesday “Gustave Whitehead Day.”

Fairfield was the site of Whitehead’s historic half-mile flight of his machine-powered No. 21 aircraft, which predated the Wright brothers’ 1903 flight. The plane flew at a height of 50 feet and landed on what is now Jennings Beach. Whitehead also lived in Fairfield during his life.

Tetreau was proud to recognize Whitehead as a Fairfield hero.

“Our town continues to honor the unforgettable legacy of one of our own, one-time resident and innovator, Gustave Whitehead,” Tetreau said. “Whitehead’s historic flight is exciting and very meaningful to our community and puts Fairfield in the spotlight with the most important milestone in aviation history.”

rscharf@hearstmediact.com