On this day in 1934...


Minnesota residents Jeannette and Jean Piccard ascend nearly 11 miles off the ground in a hydrogen balloon to an at-the-time record of 57, 579 feet.

Nearly 45,000 spectators gathered to witness the takeoff at the Ford Airport in Dearborn, Mich., and Jeannette would become the first woman to enter the stratosphere. The Piccards would land in Cadiz, Ohio, nearly 300 miles away from Dearborn after spending eight hours in flight.

Jeannette's women's record would stand until 1963, when Valentina Tereshkova became the first woman to travel to space.

The Piccards were pioneers of flight in their time, with Jeannette traveling into the stratosphere six separate times. She would later serve as a consultant for NASA.

Some believe that Star Trek: The Next Generation captain Jean-Luc Picard was named after Jean, although other theories exist as well.

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