White House Sketches
Daring Aviator Lands on White House South Lawn
July 15, 1911
Pioneering aviator Harry N. Atwood weaved his way through monuments and trees to land the biplane “Moth” on the White House south lawn. President William H. Taft greeted 26-year old Atwood and awarded him a gold medal from the Washington Aero Club recognizing “a new chapter in the thrills of the flying art.” A flamboyant promoter and exhibition flyer, Atwood earned the medal for his record-breaking 461-mile flight from Boston to Washington, D.C. in 1911. Atwood, a pupil of the Wright brothers, set many early aviation records.