Balloon Ascension Day celebrates the anniversary of the first hot air balloon flight in the United States on January 9th, 1793. Jean Pierre Blanchard, a French aeronaut, made the flight solo with tons of important people looking on, including George Washington, America's first president. It was an amazing new way to travel that astounded everyone in attendance. Unfortunately, there weren't very many ways to for Blanchard to steer his balloon, so his 46 minute trip swept him away to land in a field, where he had to convince a few local farmers to help him get back to Philadelphia. This was America's first aerial voyage, and it helped solidify America as land for great technological advances! This is a great day to take a hot air balloon flight if you can. If not, use it to learn about this great achievement and others that have been made in the field of aviation.