HARTFORD, Conn. - A U.S. state now officially recognizes a German-born man as the first to fly, upending the traditional story of the Wright brothers.

Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said Wednesday he signed into law a measure insisting that German-born aviator and state resident Gustave Whitehead flew in 1901 -- two years before Wilbur and Orville Wright lifted off in North Carolina.

Whitehead's supporters say they're correcting a historical mistake. Supporters of the Wright brothers, including the Smithsonian Institution that houses the brothers' historic plane, say those claims are wrong.

Interest in Whitehead has followed a documentary by an Australian historian.

Jane's All the World's Aircraft, an industry publication, recently cited contemporary news accounts in concluding that Whitehead beat the Wright brothers into the air.