Today in History, September 17, 1908:
US Army Lt. Thomas Selfridge, who had been the first US military officer to fly a powered aircraft solo, also becomes the first fatality of powered flight.
He was a passenger flying in the Wright Flyer with Orville Wright, during a demonstration flight at Ft. Myer, Virginia. One of the propellers snapped, damaging the aircraft, causing it to crash.
Lt. Selfridge struck his head on impact and died 3 hours later. Orville suffered severe injuries but recovered. Lt. Selfridge rests at adjacent Arlington National Cemetery.
Today in History, March 22, 1908:
Louis L’Amour is born in Jamestown, North Dakota.
Ditching school at age 15, he spent the next twenty plus years traveling the world, working as a cowboy, a longshoreman, a sailor, prizefighter, miner, and a World War II tank crewman in Europe.
When he came home from the war, he began writing. 108 books and 225 million copies later, he was recognized as the most prolific Western writer in America.
His narrative was gritty and quick…and many of us loved them.
Many in Hollywood would be honored to portray his characters…it made some careers. Tom Selleck, Sam Elliott, John Wayne, George Peppard, James Stewart, Henry Fonda, Debbie Reynolds and so many others.
My second favorite movie, “How the West Was Won” was based on one of his books. What a life!