In Praise Of Whitehead And Immigrants, Blumenthal Jabs Trump, ‘What Really Made America Great’

Last week U.S. Senator Dick Blumenthal engaged in a heated Twitter exchange with Donald Trump regarding a special prosecutor’s probe of the Trump campaign’s complicity with Russia. On Monday Blumenthal took a subtle dig at Trump declaring German aviation innovator Gustave Whitehead–who some historians argue flew before the Wright brothers–embodies the spirit of immigration. He joined area officials to honor the 116th anniversary of Whitehead’s “First in Flight.” Whitehead resided in the West End and made several flights in the area, the first, witnessed by a Bridgeport Herald reporter, came August 14, 1901, two years before the Wright Brothers. For additional background on Whitehead see here.

Blumenthal was joined by Mayor Joe Ganim, State Senator Tony Hwang, Fairfield First Selectman Mike Tetreau and family members of Whitehead to honor his accomplishments. Also in attendance was Fairfield resident Andy Kosch who built and made airborne a life-sized replica of Whitehead’s plane.

Blumenthal couched his remarks, see video above, “I don’t want to get too political” and then segued into praise of immigrant contributions such as the aerospace industry that’s a jobs foundation for Connecticut. Trump’s immigration policies have coughed up a firestorm of protests across the country with multiple federal lawsuits. “What really made America great,” said Blumenthal were innovators such as Whitehead.

In 2012, then Mayor Bill Finch paid tribute to Whitehead at the corner of State Street, Commerce Drive and Fairfield Avenue with the “First in Flight–Gustave Whitehead” fountain.



    1. You’re right in that America is and has always been great for people who look like you and me. We came, we conquered, we enacted laws for those we conquered to allow them to live with us in a way that was comfortable for us, reservations and Jim Crow,laws. The time has come to recognize the majority of us benefits from white supremacy, we advance and prosper from it. Either all men are created equal, with rights or the majority rules, pick one and fight for it and live by it. I chose all men are created equal.

  1.  Gustave Whitehead  Home in Fairfield was razed, and forever removed from the history of Fairfield. Fairfield had an opportunity to save the Whitehead home and relocate it to the Burr homestead property. Some people say that the Wright Brothers Foundation and the Smithsonian had a lot to do with the destruction of Whitehead’s home. The Fairfield Town leaders missed the boat on this one!


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