*Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons
The years between the World Wars could arguably be called the most romanticized in American history. An era of contrasts – intense optimism and Great Depression, burgeoning industry and organized crime – the booms and busts inspired people of the age to dare in a way many had not. One such man, a dashing American pilot named Wiley Post, cemented his legacy by becoming the first person to fly solo around the world on July 22, 1933.
The handsome flyer had been born in the plains of northeastern Texas before moving to Oklahoma with his farming family at the age of five. He spent much of his life in the fields, until he landed a job with Burrell Tibbs and His Texas Topnotch Fliers in 1924. Working as a parachutist, he was soon known on the barnstorming tours o the mid- and late-1920s – an era when the airplane moved from being the combat oddity it had been in World War I to a bona fide workhorse.
In 1926, while working in an oil field during the off-season, Post lost his left eye to a piece of faulty equipment. Using the compensation he received for the injury to purchase his first airplane, he often served as the personal pilot for entrepreneurs who had hit it big with “black gold” in central Oklahoma. …(Read more)