July 1-2, 1859

John Wise established a world distance record, traveling 809 miles from St. Louis to New York in the Atlantic, a 65,000-cubic-foot helium balloon. This was only the second balloon flight from St. Louis. Read more about this flight in Bob Priddy’s book, Across Our Wide Missouri.

This post was contributed by Ross Malone. A historian and a retired school teacher, Ross has authored many books about Missouri’s history, weird facts, and folk tales. He has also written children’s historical fiction. Visit his website, and buy his books in the Missouri Life store.