Aug 17, 1859: U.S. Airmail Carried by Balloon

1859: Mail is carried by air for the first time in the United States.

On a hot summer day as the temperature soared toward 91 degrees, John Wise stood at the town square in Lafayette, Indiana, waiting next to a balloon named Jupiter. Even for a balloon enthusiast and a well-known aeronaut, it was a big moment.

Wise was set to carry what would be the first U.S. airmail. A postmaster had handed him a bag with 123 letters. Destination of the balloonist and his precious cargo: New York City. more…

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