Wiley Post Completes First Solo Trip Around the Globe 

U.S. #C95-96

Having already broken the record for flying around the planet, Wiley Post set out to do it again, this time without the aid of a navigator. Not only did he succeed, but he completed the flight in less time, while also experimenting with new technologies.

Post had dreamt of a life in the clouds since the first time he saw an airplane at a county fair when he was 15. He got his start as a skydiver and quickly moved up to pilot. In 1931, he and his navigator, Harold Gatty, broke the record for traveling around the world previously set by the Graf Zeppelin.

In spite of this great accomplishment, Post often heard suggestions that Gatty had directed the effort, and earned more acclaim. Post set out immediately to prove his critics wrong. Equipping his plane with new technology – an early form of autopilot and a radio direction finder – he left Floyd Bennett Field in New York on July 15, 1933.

Post experienced some issues with the autopilot, but it did help him stay on course. And the radio direction finder allowed him to locate any radio station’s transmitter. Stopping in Berlin and the Soviet Union before returning to North America, Post completed the trip in 7 days, 18 hours, and 49 minutes – 21 hours faster than his previous record.

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  1. A third event that happened on July 22 (1934) was the gunning-down of Public Enemy No.1, John Dillinger, outside the Biograph Theatre in Chicago. His mistress, the “lady in red”, sold him out to FBI agents, and was told to wear a red dress so they could spot him next to her, as he had recently had his features surgically altered, and they were not sure they could recognize him. Interesting article–you may want to save it for next year. jw

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