Wrong Way Corrigan Day

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Wrong Way Corrigan Day
United States
Wrong Way Corrigan Day

July 17th marks National Wrong Way Corrigan Day, honoring the legendary transatlantic journey of Douglas Corrigan, an Irish-American stunt pilot from Galveston, Texas. In an unplanned and infamous feat on July 17, 1938, Corrigan made a significant mark by embarking on a transatlantic flight to Ireland.

Join in commemorating this audacious flight with #WrongWayCorriganDay, celebrating the remarkable spirit and daring journey of Douglas Corrigan.

Purpose: Wrong Way Corrigan Day honors the adventurous spirit and remarkable story of Douglas "Wrong Way" Corrigan, an aviator who became famous for his unplanned transatlantic flight from New York to Ireland in 1938. The day celebrates Corrigan's daring feat, his impact on aviation history, and the theme of embracing unexpected journeys and the courage to follow one’s dreams, even when they don't go as planned.


  • Douglas Corrigan: Born on January 22, 1907, in Galveston, Texas, Douglas Corrigan was an American aviator and aircraft mechanic.
  • The Flight: On July 17, 1938, Corrigan took off from Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn, New York, supposedly bound for California. However, he ended up in Dublin, Ireland, 28 hours later. Corrigan claimed his unexpected destination was due to a navigational error, although many believe it was a deliberate act to achieve his dream of flying across the Atlantic, despite being denied official permission.
  • Nickname: He earned the nickname "Wrong Way Corrigan" for his famous wrong-way flight, which captured public imagination and made him an instant folk hero.


  • Aviation History: Corrigan's flight is a significant event in aviation history, demonstrating the capabilities of aircraft and the spirit of adventure during the early days of aviation.
  • Public Fascination: The story of Wrong Way Corrigan resonates with the public due to its elements of determination, daring, and the unexpected.
  • Inspiration: Corrigan's story inspires people to pursue their dreams, even when faced with obstacles or unexpected outcomes.


  • Educational Programs: Schools and aviation enthusiasts often use this day to teach about the history of aviation and the story of Douglas Corrigan.
  • Aviation Events: Attend or organize aviation-themed events, such as airshows, museum exhibits, or lectures, to celebrate Corrigan's contributions to aviation.
  • Flying Lessons: Consider taking a flying lesson or visiting a local airport to learn more about piloting and aircraft.
  • Movies and Documentaries: Watch movies or documentaries about early aviation history and the remarkable stories of aviators like Corrigan.
  • Social Media: Share the story of Wrong Way Corrigan and related aviation facts on social media using the hashtag #WrongWayCorriganDay.

Interesting Facts About Douglas "Wrong Way" Corrigan:

  1. Mechanic for Lindbergh: Corrigan was a skilled aircraft mechanic and worked on Charles Lindbergh’s Spirit of St. Louis, which completed the first solo nonstop transatlantic flight in 1927.
  2. Modified Plane: Corrigan’s aircraft was a Curtiss Robin, which he had extensively modified himself to make it capable of long-distance flight.
  3. Official Explanation: Despite the widespread belief that his transatlantic flight was deliberate, Corrigan always maintained that it was due to a navigational error.
  4. Public Reaction: Upon his return to the United States, Corrigan was greeted with a hero’s welcome, including a ticker-tape parade in New York City.


  • Cultural Impact: Corrigan's flight has been referenced in various cultural works, including books, films, and songs, symbolizing the charm of going against the odds and the thrill of the unexpected.
  • Historical Significance: His story is a part of aviation folklore, symbolizing the pioneering spirit and the human desire to explore and achieve the seemingly impossible.

How to Celebrate:

  • Read and Learn: Read books or articles about Douglas Corrigan and the early days of aviation to understand the context and significance of his flight.
  • Model Airplane Building: Build and fly model airplanes as a fun way to connect with aviation history and enjoy a hands-on activity.
  • Visit Aviation Museums: Visit aviation museums or historical sites related to flight to see exhibits and artifacts from the era of Corrigan’s flight.
  • Storytelling: Share the story of Wrong Way Corrigan with friends and family to keep the legend alive and inspire others with his adventurous spirit.

Wrong Way Corrigan Day is a celebration of the adventurous and daring spirit embodied by Douglas Corrigan. It encourages people to embrace unexpected journeys, pursue their dreams, and appreciate the rich history of aviation.