Tag Archives: American adventurer

today’s birthday: Frederick Russell Burnham (1861)


Frederick Russell Burnham (1861)

Burnham was an American adventurer whose outdoorsmanship helped inspire the founding of the international scout movement. He was born on an Indian reservation to a missionary family and became a horseback messenger for Western Union Telegraph Company at age 13 and soon after a scout and tracker. After two decades of ranging in the Southwest and Mexico, he moved to Africa to become the British army’s chief of scouts during the Boer War. His tracking skills earned him what nickname in Africa? More… Discuss

TODAY’S BIRTHDAY: LARRY WALTERS, LAWN CHAIR PILOT (1949)


Larry Walters, Lawn Chair Pilot (1949)

“Lawnchair Larry” was an American adventurer who built a homemade aircraft out of a patio chair and dozens of helium-filled weather balloons and lifted off from his girlfriend’s Los Angeles backyard in July 1982. He quickly shot up to over 15,000 ft (4,572 m) and then drifted toward a nearby airport, where passing pilots reported him to the control tower. When he was ready to return to solid ground, he began shooting out the balloons with a pellet gun, but then he dropped it. What happened next? More… Discuss

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