Glenn Curtiss, the first U.S. motorcycle champion

U.S. Census Bureau Daily Feature for May 21

Profile America – Friday, May 21, 2010 – (Motor Sports Newswire) – Today marks the birthday of an aviation pioneer who now is largely forgotten.  Glenn Curtiss was born in Hammondsport, New York.  He was the first U.S. motorcycle champion, setting a speed record of 136 miles-an-hour in 1907.  Turning to aviation, he set many speed and distance records in the first decade of powered flight.  Curtiss built the navy’s first aircraft and later huge four-engined flying boats for the service.  One, the NC-4, made the first transatlantic crossing by an airplane in 1919.  Glenn Curtiss held U.S. pilot’s license number one.  Today, just over 590,000 Americans hold pilot’s licenses.  You can find these and more facts about America from the U.S. Census Bureau, online at

Sources:  Chase’s Calendar of Events 2010, p. 282

Glenn H. Curtiss Museum

Statistical Abstract of the United States 2010, t. 1047

Profile America is produced by the Public Information Office of the U.S. Census Bureau. These daily features are available as produced segments, ready to air, on a monthly CD or on the Internet at (look for “Multimedia Gallery” by the “Newsroom” button).

SOURCE U.S. Census Bureau