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First Flight in America

By Linda Tancs

In 1793, Frenchman Jean-Pierre Blanchard set off from Philadelphia in a hot air balloon, landing less than an hour later in a field in Deptford, New Jersey. Witnessed by George Washington and other dignitaries, Blanchard entered the annals of history as America’s first aeronaut. So proud is the Gloucester County community of their connection to this event that they’ve emblazoned a hot air balloon logo on their municipal signs and stationery, together with the phrase “1st Flight in America” on the township’s water tower.


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