REACH FOR THE SKY

September 17 in history:

Freaks and Geeks Wild West Style

Army Lieutenant Thomas Selfridge became the first person to die in a plane crash on September 17th, 1908.  Orville Wright was flying the plane, and Selfridge was his passenger, in a demonstration at Fort Myer, Virginia. The plane went into a nose-dive after a propeller broke.

On this date in 1916, German Baron von Richthofen, the “Red Baron,” shot down his first enemy plane during World War One.  The English plane was the first of 80 that Richthofen downed before he was shot down himself a year-and-a-half later.

Soldiers shoot at an airplane carrying IMF agents at the end of the pilot of “Mission: Impossible,” which debuted on CBS on this date in 1966.  One year earlier, two series with heroes performing nearly impossible or secret missions premiered on CBS on September 17th, 1965:  “The Wild Wild West” and “Hogan’s Heroes.”

“Mission: Impossible” star Peter Graves played an ill-fated pilot in the movie comedy “Airplane!”  An ill-fated airplane flight to Las Vegas which has to be diverted to Casper, Wyoming, is a highlight of the 2011 comedy “Bridesmaids,” directed by Paul Feig, born on September 17th, 1962.  Feig, also known for directing the 2016 “Ghostbusters” reboot and creating the TV series “Freaks and Geeks,” was born the same day and year as Australian movie director Baz Luhrmann, whose films include “Moulin Rouge!” and the 2013 remake of “The Great Gatsby.”

Below: Triviazoids’ Brad Williams quizzed on September 17 TV trivia on “Live with Regis and Kelly”, as seen in the documentary, “Unforgettable”.

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