August 24 is the anniversary of two historic crossings. In 1875, Matthew Webb became the first person to swim across the English Channel, while in 1932 Amelia Earhart became the first woman to fly non-stop across the United States.
Here are a few facts about both that you might not have known.
At the age of 27, Webb set off from Dover, England after smearing himself in porpoise oil. His crossing was slowed by jellyfish stings and a strong current off the French coast. He eventually landed near Calais, France after 21 hours, 45 minutes. Because of the currents, he ended up swimming nearly twice the width of the channel. He died in 1883 trying to swim through the Whirlpool Rapids below Niagara Falls.
In 1932, Earhart flew from Los Angeles to Newark, New Jersey in 19 hours and five minutes, which also set a women’s distance record of 2,447 miles. Earlier that year, she had become the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic from Newfoundland, Canada to Northern Ireland. She and her navigator Fred Noonan disappeared over the Pacific on July 2, 1937 while attempting a round-the-world flight.
Our question, what was the name of the island Earhart was trying to land on when she disappeared?
Today is also: Independence Day in Ukraine, Flag Day in Liberia and Nostalgia Night in Uruguay. In the United States it is unofficially National Peach Pie Day and National Waffle Day. It’s the birthday of the father of surfing, Duke Kahanamoku; baseball hall of famer Cal Ripken Jr., and actor Stephen Fry.