July 17, 2012 - Wrong Way Corrigan Day

What a weird name for a holiday! I had no idea what this was about and had to look it up. It turns out that a guy named Douglas Corrigan got a pretty special nickname: Wrong Way Corrigan. Here's his story:

On this date in 1938, Corrigan got into his 1929 Curtiss Robin monoplane in an airfield in Brooklyn, New York. He'd let people know his flight plan; he was going to fly westward to Los Angeles, California. But when he took he, he swung the plane eastward and headed out over the Atlantic Ocean. About 3,000 miles later—more than 28 hours later!—Corrigan landed in Dublin, Ireland. He had made the nonstop solo flight without radio or special navigation equipment—totally against American and Irish flight regulations. He said he made the mistake because he'd accidentally followed the wrong end of his compass needle, but I would think that he would have noticed he was flying over an ocean rather than land!

Still, Corrigan got a hero's welcome for his feat, and the nickname!

And now he has a day named after him. Does that mean that a really big mistake is a stroke of genius?

(No. No, it does not. At least, not very often, it doesn't!)

Also on this date:

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