WASHINGTON, Jan. 9 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Following is the daily "Profile America" feature from the U.S. Census Bureau:
SATURDAY, JANUARY 9: FIRST FLIGHT IN AMERICA
Profile America -- Saturday, January 9th. Aviation came to young America on this day in 1793, when a Frenchman named Jean Pierre Blanchard flew a hydrogen-filled balloon from Philadelphia. The feat was witnessed by President George Washington, who sent along a presidential order that made the flight official. Blanchard reached an altitude of about a mile and drifted 15 miles into New Jersey, accompanied by a passenger -- a little black dog. Today, brilliantly colored hot air balloons thrill crowds at festivals in many parts of the country. Once in the forefront of aviation technology, they now number just over 4,300 -- a tiny proportion of the nearly 222,000 active civil aircraft in the nation. You can find these and more facts about America from the U.S. Census Bureau, now preparing for the 2010 Census on April 1st.
Sources: Centennial of Flight Commission
Statistical Abstract of the United States 2009, t. 1042
Profile America is produced by the Public Information Office of the U.S. Census Bureau. These daily features are available as produced segments, ready to air, on a monthly CD or on the Internet at http://www.census.gov (look under the "Newsroom" button).
SOURCE U.S. Census Bureau