Albuquerque's First Aeronaut
When Park Van Tassel, an Albuquerque saloon keeper, soared two miles above the city in a coal-gas balloon, he became our very first aeronaut. That was on July 4, 1882. Van went on to become a famous ballooning pioneer, flying gas and hot air (smoke) balloons in five states, six US territories and two dozen countries. Van's life story is a series of successful balloon flights punctuated by nearly as many mishaps.
This fascinating lecture is presented by Dick Brown, AIBF Heritage Committee member, winner of the 1980 Montgolfier Diplome, co-author of two AIBF balloon books, and longtime contributor to the Balloon Fiesta program.