As you might have heard, the Dayton area had some famous visitors earlier this week: actor/producer/director Tom Hanks and historian David McCullough.
Hanks helped dedicate the newly renovated Tom Hanks Center for Motion Pictures here at Wright State, and he is also the national co-chair of WSU’s Rise. Shine. fundraising campaign. Hanks’ film and television production company Playtone has also purchased the rights to David McCullough’s book The Wright Brothers, and an HBO miniseries is currently in the works.
As part of a busy schedule for both gentlemen during their time here in Dayton, Hanks and McCullough visited Special Collections & Archives yesterday morning for a private tour of our world-renowned Wright Brothers Collection, including viewing several recently digitized home movie films. McCullough’s long-time research assistant Mike Hill, as well as members of Hanks’ team for the HBO miniseries, including the screenwriter and another producer, were also in attendance for the tour.
Dawne Dewey, Head of Special Collections & Archives, hosted the tour, and Amanda Wright Lane, great-grandniece of the Wright Brothers, was present as well.
As you know, all visitors to the archives must sign in! We made a special sign-in sheet for our famous visitors.
After the visit, Special Collections & Archives staff and a small party of Public History graduate students enjoyed a luncheon with some of our guests, including David McCullough. After lunch, we took some photographs, including one of Dawne and Mr. McCullough pretending to “walk like the Wright Brothers” as shown in the famous photograph of the brothers taken at Belmont Park in 1910.
This has been a great week for Dayton, Wright State University, and the legacy of the Wright Brothers, and we were so excited, proud, and honored to have been a part of it!
For more complete coverage of Hanks’ and McCullough’s visit to Dayton this week, please see all of this wonderful news media publicity:
- Actor Tom Hanks dedicates Tom Hanks Center for Motion Pictures at Wright State University (Wright State News Room, 19 Apr. 2016)
- Renowned historian David McCullough speaks at WSU (WSU Guardian, 19 Apr. 2016)
- David McCullough tours Wright Brothers’ sites, gives master class at Wright State (Wright State News Room, 20 Apr. 2016)
- Tom Hanks helps launch new Center of Motion Pictures at Wright State (Dayton Daily News, premium content, 19 Apr. 2016)
- Tom Hanks dedicates Wright State’s Motion Pictures Center (video) (WHIO, 19 Apr. 2016)
- Tom Hanks visits Wright Brothers landmark (Dayton Daily News, 19 Apr. 2016)
- Why Tom Hanks’ visit to Dayton is one for the history books (Dayton Daily News, 19 Apr. 2016)
- Author David McCullough discusses Wrights’ legacy at master class (Wright State News Room, 21 Apr. 2016)
- David McCullough: Wright brothers’ factory important to world (NAHA, 20 Apr. 2016)
- Why was Tom Hanks in Dayton? (USA Today, 21 Apr. 2016)
- Tom Hanks talks about Wright State with Stephen Colbert (The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, WHIO via YouTube, 21 Apr. 2016)
- Award-winning author notes Wright brothers factory “important to world” (General Aviation News, 23 Apr. 2016)
- Hanks gives a shout-out to WSU on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” (WSU Guardian, 25 Apr. 2016)
- Tom Hanks brings distinction to Wright State (WSU Guardian, 25 Apr. 2016)
- Tom Hanks brings aviation heritage into focus (NAHA, 27 Apr. 2016)
- Hanks for the Memories: Academy-award winning actor and producer Tom Hanks leaves lasting imprint on Dayton, Wright State University (WSU News Room, 29 Apr. 2016) *includes very detailed description of all aspects of Hanks’ visit; highly recommend!
More on David McCullough’s earlier visits to our Archives:
- Historian David McCullough visits the Archives (26 Sept. 2014)
- CBS Sunday Morning films David McCullough in the Archives (31 Mar. 2015)
- See all blog posts about David McCullough.
And finally, a great “found it in the archives” on Tom Hanks’ first performance at WSU in 1978, which he mentioned in his dedication speech yesterday.
Official university photographs from these exciting events will soon be available on the Wright State University Smugmug site.