February 13, 2013 - Happy Birthday, Chuck Yeager!

During World War II, he shot down five enemy aircraft in a single day!

He was shot down himself, once, over occupied France, but he was able to avoid being captured by the Germans. He moved through the woods until he found a group from the French resistance. With their help, he was able to return to Britain and pilot duty.

After the war, he went from great fighter pilot to great test pilot. Some would say that he is the most famous test pilot of all time. One reason is that he was the first to break the sound barrier in 1947. That means he was the first human ever to travel faster than the speed of sound.

When Yeager passed the sound barrier,
he was flying about 700 miles per hour.
For the first time people heard a "sonic boom."
Do you know what test pilots do? They test out new plane designs. They try to fly higher or faster than anyone has ever flown before—Yeager was called the Fastest Man Alive. It is all very dangerous.

Know what else? Despite all the dangers that he faced as a fighter and test pilot, Chuck Yeager is still alive and is celebrating his 90th birthday today!

By the way...

Chuck Yeager once answered the question of who the best pilot is by saying, “There is no best pilot. If the guy is alive, he's pretty...good!” 

Celebrate Yeager by watching The Right Stuff. Warning: the movie is long and was once rated R. Read about it on Common Sense Media, where it is rated as top-quality and good for 'tweens and teens on up. 

Also on this date:

Artist Grant Wood's birthday

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