October 11, 1910: First President to Fly

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The first president to fly was of course Theodore Roosevelt, a man who loved a dangerous challenge.   When he flew at Kinloch Field, Saint Louis, Missouri on October 11, 1910, flying was still highly dangerous.  His pilot that day was Arch Hoxsey, one of the great pioneers of aviation, who would die in a plane crash at Los Angeles on December 31, 1910, the day after reaching a world record height by flying to 11,474 feet.  Hoxsey, as did Roosevelt, lived his life according to this maxim of Roosevelt:

Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor
suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.

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2 Comments

  1. This was more than a year and a half after Roosevelt left office. A Google check reveals that the first sitting president to fly in an airplane was TR’s distant cousin, FDR in 1943. It took that long!

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