TODAY’S BIRTHDAY: JEANNETTE PICCARD (1895)

Jeannette Piccard (1895)

American balloonist Jeannette Piccard held the women’s altitude record for nearly three decades. She and her husband initially struggled to fund their ballooning—companies balked at endangering a woman and mother—but in 1934, the pair was able to make a record-breaking flight over Lake Erie. Jeannette piloted the balloon to a height of 57,579 ft (17,550 m), becoming the first woman to reach the stratosphere. She served as a consultant to NASA but later pursued what very different profession? More… Discuss

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