1. 2003: The last supersonic commercial flight
The Concorde Jet was the ultimate symbol of high-end luxury airliners, at least in the commercial sector. It was most commonly used for Transatlantic flights from New York to London, for which round trip tickets would usually cost around $9,000. The reason it was so expensive was because of the speed it could get you to your destination. The Concorde is a supersonic jet and traveled at 1,350mph, which is roughly twice the speed of sound. It was developed by the French and British governments and made its debut back in 1976. However, it was on this date in 2003 that the last commercial supersonic flight from John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York landed at Heathrow in London. On that flight was supermodel Christie Brinkley, as well as a few other celebrities, plus a couple from Ohio that reportedly paid $60,000 for their seats.
2. 1901: Annie Edson Taylor rides in a barrel over Niagara Falls
It was on this date in 1901 that Annie Edson Taylor made history when she became the first person to take the plunge over Niagara Falls in a barrel, and survive. There had been attempts prior to her, but none of which survived the massive fall. At the time, Taylor claimed she was 40 years old, but it was later determined she was actually 63 when she went over the falls. She apparently was somewhat down and out, no money, and yet seeking fame. So when she heard about people riding in a barrel over Niagara she knew that was her ticket to fame and fortune. When the time came, she had two assistants help her into a wooden barrel that stood about 5 feet tall and 3 feet in diameter. Inside, she had lined the walls with padding and installed a leather harness designed to help keep her in place. A steamboat took her out to the middle of the Niagara river and off she went. The falls stand at just under 170 feet tall so you can only imagine how violent that ride must’ve been. Somehow, Taylor managed to survive, even though according to reports she couldn’t be found for almost 20 minutes after she went over. Unfortunately, Taylor didn’t get the notoriety and money she’d hoped for, but she did get her name in the record books as a consolation prize.
3. 1969: Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid opens in theaters
It was on this date in 1969 that the Oscar-winning film Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid opens in theaters nationwide. Starring in the film was Robert Redford as the Sundance Kid, and Paul Newman as Butch Cassidy, a team of old west bank robbers. At the time they were two of the leading men in Hollywood. The film was a commercial success at the box office as well as with the critics. It was nominated for a total of 7 Oscars and at the end of the night ended up taking the win in four of those categories. Both Newman and Redford went on to have extremely successful film careers that also lead to other things. Newman, for example, was well known as a gear head and became heavily involved in auto racing. Redford went on to purchase a ski resort and is also responsible for the ever popular Sundance Film Festival