6 April 1927

William MacCracken’s Pilot Identification Card
United States of America Pilot License No. 1

William Patterson MacCracken, Jr., Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Aeronautics, became the first person to be issued a pilot’s license by the government of the United States. License Number 1 was a private license, signed by then Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover, who would later become the 31st President of the United States of America.

Assistant Secretary MacCracken had offered the first pilot certificate to aviation pioneer Orville Wright, but Wright declined, as “he no longer flew and did not think he needed a Federal license to show that he had been the first man to fly.”

© 2018, Bryan R. Swopes

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Source: This Day in Aviation