NATIONAL RIDE THE WIND DAY | AUGUST 23
Enjoy the last days of summer and the warm breezes on August 23rd as you celebrate the annual National Ride the Wind Day.
National Ride the Wind Day commemorates the anniversary of the first human-powered flight to win the Kremer prize. On August 23rd of 1977, the Gossamer Condor flew the first figure-eight course specified by the Royal Aeronautical Society at Minter Field in Shafter, California. Slowly cruising at only 11 mph, it traveled a distance of 2,172 meters.
The Gossamer Condor was built by Dr. Paul B MacCready. Amateur cyclist and hang-glider pilot Bryan Allen piloted the aircraft.
When is National Paper Airplane Day?
HOW TO OBSERVE NATIONAL RIDE THE WIND DAY
Take to the air! We all know that cooler air is right around the corner. So take advantage of these nice days and get outside as much as possible. Test out those human-powered aircraft and make some history. Summer breezes allow us to fly human-powered. In the event you lack a human-powered aircraft, flying a kite is always a good back plan.
You can also learn about piloting a glider or consider being a passenger. FAA certified pilots will take you soaring into the beautiful blue skies. Share your experiences and be sure to use #RideTheWindDay to post on social media.
Educators and parents, visit the National Day Calendar Classroom for many different projects!
NATIONAL RIDE THE WIND DAY HISTORY
We were unable to find the creator of National Ride the Wind Day.
Ride the Wind FAQ
Q. Where is the Gossamer Condor stored?
A. The Smithsonian Institute displays the Gossamer Condor in an exhibit at the National Air and Space Museum.
Q. Did Paul MacCready and his team invent and other human-powered aircraft?
A. Yes. The team invented the Gossamer Albatross which flew across the English Channel and the Bionic Bat, named for its onboard battery storage. The team also invented several solar aircraft.
Q. Is there a human-powered helicopter?
A. Yes. In 2013, the Sikorsky Human Powered Helicopter Competition challenged developers to design a human-powered helicopter. The parameters required the helicopter to hover for 60 seconds and reach an altitude of 3 meters. Dr. Todd Reichert and Dr. Cameron Robertson designed the winning helicopter, the Aerovelo Atlas. It hovered for 64 seconds and reached a height of 3.3 meters.
August 23rd Celebrated History
King Edward I of England has the Scottish revolutionary, William Wallace, executed. Wallace was hung and then disemboweled, beheaded, and quartered.
London establishes the first one-way street.
The Fifth Avenue Hotel in New York City opens and is the first American hotel to include a passenger elevator.
The message “Sherman is sighted” is the first ship-to-shore message sent by wireless.
Fannie Farmer opens the Miss Farmer’s School of Cookery. She was also a cookbook author and proponent of standard measures in cooking
Harry D. Weed patents “Grip-Tread for Pneumatic Tires” making traveling icy roads less hazardous. That same year he establishes the Weed Chain Tire Grip Company.
Frank King’s comic strip, Gasoline Alley, premieres in the Chicago Tribune.
Anne Morrow flies solo for the first time, only months after marrying Charles Lindbergh.
The Big Sleep starring Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall is released.
Hail pummels the small town of Rushmore, Minnesota. The thunderstorm dumped hail a foot deep on the Nobels County town.
The Beatles release their single “She Loves You” from their Twist and Shout album in the United Kingdom.
NASA’s Lunar Orbiter 1 captures the first photograph of Earth from the Moon’s orbit.
A bank robbery went wrong in Stockholm, Sweden, leading to a hostage crisis. The drawn-out event lasted five days. During that time, the hostages begin to sympathize with their jailers. This phenomenon becomes known as “Stockholm syndrome.”
The Gossamer Condor 2 flew the first man-powered flight for at least 1 mile.
The sitcom, That 70’s Show premiered its first episode.
August 23rd Celebrated Birthdays
Louis XVI – 1774
Born Louis Auguste, he took the French throne at the age of 20 after the death of his grandfather, Louis XV. His policies created insurmountable debt for the country which would eventually lead to the French Revolution.
Sarah Frances Whiting – 1847
The first director of the Whitin Observatory, Whiting taught astronomy and physics at Wellesley College.
Edgar Lee Masters – 1869
The author of more than 30 books and plays is best known for his work, Spoon River Anthology.
Will Cuppy – 1884
Combining dry wit with a little bit of fact, the American humorist and journalist commented on nature and historical personalities.
Grace Chu – 1899
Also known as Madame Chu, the cooking enthusiast began hosting cooking classes in her home while her husband was posted at the U.S. Embassy. She would later continue the courses and become a U.S. citizen. Chu also published two popular books on Chinese cooking.
Ernie Bushmiller – 1905
Best known for his comic strip, Nancy, the artist once thought he couldn’t draw.
Hannah Frank – 1908
The Art Nouveau artist is best known for her black and white drawings and sculptures.
Gene Kelly – 1912
The talented singer, dancer and actor starred alongside Judy Garland, Debbie Reynolds, Rita Hayworth, Frank Sinatra, and Spencer Tracy to name a few.
Barbara Eden – 1931
Eden co-starred in the sitcom I Dream of Jeannie alongside Larry Hagman. During her career, Eden made more than 90 appearances on film and television.
Keith Moon – 1946
Best known as the drummer for The Who, Moon also played several roles in film.
Shelley Long – 1949
The actor is best known for her role as Diane Chambers in the sitcom Cheers.
River Phoenix – 1970
Before his tragic death, the talented young actor appeared in several films including Stand by Me, Running on Empty, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, and My Own Private Idaho.
Kobe Bryant – 1978
Drafted into the NBA in 1996, Bryant would go on to an All-Star career with the L.A. Lakers. In January 2020, he was tragically killed in a helicopter accident.
Natalie Coughlin – 1982
The 12-time Olympic medalist is a powerhouse swimmer who started her swimming career at the age of 6.