Good News in History, August 16

Good News in History, August 16

Captain-Kittinger-record-skydive-jump-USAF56 years ago, as part of research into high altitude bailouts, Air Force Captain Joseph Kittinger parachuted from a balloon at 102,800 feet (31,330 meters) over New Mexico, setting four historical records: highest balloon ascent, highest parachute jump, longest drogue-fall (four minutes), and fastest speed by a human without an aircraft. (1960)

The Tampa-born retired Colonel fell for 19 miles and reached a maximum speed of 614 miles per hour (988 km/h). In 2012, at the age of 84, he participated in the Red Bull Stratos project as capsule communicator, directing Felix Baumgartner on his record-breaking 39-kilometer (24 mi) freefall from Earth’s stratosphere. (Click to enlarge the USAF photo documenting his jump, and read more on Wikipedia.)

MORE Good News on this Day:

  • The first transatlantic telegraph cable was inaugurated by U.S. President Buchanan who exchanged greetings with UK’s Queen Victoria (1858)
  • Dominican Republic gained freedom after four-year war against Spanish Annexation (1865)
  • First female students admitted to the (Imperial) Tōhoku University of Japan (1913)
  • Sports Illustrated was first published by Time Inc. (1954)
  • Britain granted independence to Cyprus (1960)
  • Ringo Starr replaced Pete Best to become the drummer for The Beatles (1962)
  • Thousands of people worldwide began a two-day celebration of the “harmonic convergence,” a planetary alignment with the Sun, Moon and six out of eight planets that believers marked as the start of a new, more enlightened age. (1987)