South Houston in Harris County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
First Airplane Flight Over Texas
The first documented flight of a heavier-than-air flying machine in Texas occurred over this site on February 18, 1910, two weeks before the first military airplane flight by Lt. Benjamin Foulois at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio. The South Houston flight was part of a land development promotion sponsored by the Western Land Corporation and the Houston "Post."
French aviator Louis Paulhan, on a coast-to-coast flying exhibition tour of America, was commissioned to demonstrate his flying skills. The promoters arranged for special excursion trains to transport spectators to the site from downtown Houston. Headlines in the "Post" proclaimed, "This is the first opportunity for Texans to see a real demonstration of man's ability to fly. Don't fail to come and see demonstrated the greatest invention of the present era."
A crowd of more than 2,500 people gathered on Friday, February 18th, to witness Paulhan's first Texas flight in his Farman biplane. Because of high winds and inclement weather, the aviator was not able to perform some of his most spectacular stunts, but the crowd was thrilled with the aerial display. A
Erected 1991 by Texas Historical Commission. (Marker Number 10660.)
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Air & Space. In addition, it is included in the AIAA Historic Aerospace Sites series list. A significant historical date for this entry is February 18, 1910.
Location. 29° 39.854′ N, 95° 13.957′ W. Marker is in South Houston, Texas, in Harris County. Marker is at the intersection of Spencer Highway and Texas Street, on the right when traveling east on Spencer Highway. Apparently Spencer Highway is also called West Main, Avenue C and York Avenue at this location. Having spent over 45 years in this area I've never heard it called anything but Spencer Highway. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: South Houston TX 77587, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 5 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Site of Lubbock Ranch (approx. 2.4 miles away); Pasadena Independent School District (approx. 3.3 miles away); Allen Ranch (approx. 3.4 miles away); City of Pasadena (approx. 3˝ miles away); Vince's Bridge (approx. 3.9 miles away); Crown Hill Cemetery (approx. 4 miles away); The Capture of Santa Anna (approx. 4.3 miles away); Old Harrisburg (approx. 4˝ miles away).
Credits. This page was last revised on November 20, 2020. It was originally submitted on January 29, 2013, by Jim Evans of Houston, Texas. This page has been viewed 734 times since then and 10 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on January 29, 2013, by Jim Evans of Houston, Texas. 4. submitted on November 20, 2020, by Craig Baker of Sylmar, California. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.