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First trans-Atlantic hot air balloon crossing

On 17 August 1978, three American balloonists made the first crossing of the Atlantic Ocean in a hot air balloon.

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Ben Abruzzo, Larry Newman and Max Anderson took six days to complete the flight from Maine in the US to France. They travelled the 3,000 miles (4,800 km) in a 65-foot (20-metre) diameter gondola named The Spirit of Albuquerque powered by a helium-filled balloon.

Also on this Day ......

17 August 1896: First recorded road traffic accident occurred. Bridget Driscoll, aged 44, was on her way to a fête at Crystal Palace in south London, when a car being demonstrated at the palace ploughed straight into her. She died within minutes.

17 August 1945: After three centuries of Dutch domination, followed by three years of Japanese occupation during World War II, Indonesia declared its independence on this day.


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