October 11th, 1910 – The President Flies a Plane

Today-In-History

On October 11th, 1910, former President Theodore Roosevelt became the first U.S. president to fly in an airplane. 

Roosevelt Flight 1910 680

He flew for four minutes with Arch Hoxsey in a plane built by the Wright brothers at Kinloch Field (Lambert–St. Louis International Airport), St. Louis, Missouri.

Portrait_of_pilot_Arch_Hoxsey_at_the_Dominguez_Air_Meet,_ca.1910_(CHS-43570)

Archibald Hoxsey (October 15th, 1884 – December 31st, 1910)

Hoxsey was an accomplished mechanic and aviator. In his early twenties he worked as an auto mechanic and chauffeur, but by 1909-1910 his mechanical ability led to a meeting with the Wright Brothers. In March 1910 the Wright brothers opened a flight school in Montgomery, Alabama and Hoxey was a teacher there. There he became the first pilot to fly at night.

There was a rivalry between Hoxsey and fellow pilot Ralph Johnstone in their attempts to each set altitude record attempts that earned the pair of them the nickname of the “heavenly twins.” When Hoxsey took Roosevelt for that historic flight, little would he know that due his attempts to push his plane higher and higher, he had less than three months left to live.

On December 26th, 1910 Hoxley set the flight altitude record of 11,474 feet, but five days later died on December 31st, 1910 in Los Angeles, California after crashing from 7,000 feet. He was trying to set a new flight altitude record. The Wright Brothers paid for his funeral at Woodlawn Cemetery, Atkinson, Nebraska, in the same grave as his father, Archibald Hoxsey, Sr.

“Today in History” on The Pandora Society dot com is primarily focused on Victorian and Edwardian history and does not always have a direct connection to Steampunk, Dieselpunk, or whatever punk; in fact it rarely does, but it is our hope that in sharing these historical events they might serve as some inspiration to the writers in our community to create potential alternative history stories which we look forward to reading 🙂


 

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