Nearby Kitty Hawk is frequently cited as the location of the Wright brothers' first controlled, powered airplane flights on December 17, 1903. The flights actually occurred in what is now Kill Devil Hills.
Kill Devil Hills is located on the barrier islands known as the Outer Banks. The name Kill Devil Hills dates back to the Colonial era. Shipwrecks were common at the time, and many of the ships were transporting barrels of rum. When a ship foundered, local wreckers would scavenge what they could of the ship's cargo before it sank, hiding their pilfered rum in and among the same large sand dunes where the Wright brothers would later perform glider tests. Since rum was called "Kill Devil" by the English at the time the dunes became known as "Kill Devil Hills."
Kill Devil Hills is the site of the Wright Brothers National Memorial, commemorating their four sustained powered airplane flights of Thursday, December 17, 1903. Orville returned in 1911, and on October 25 he set a new world glider record, remaining in the air 10 minutes and 34 seconds, soaring against the wind with very little forward movement.
The town of Kill Devil Hills is located
( 268 km )
--- heading 83o (east) from Raleigh.
At the time of the 2000 census, the town of Kill Devil Hills had a population of 5,897 living in 2,585 households. The median age was 36.7 yrs.
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