First to Cross the English Channel by Plane
French aviator Louis Blériot made the first crossing of the English Channel in a powered aircraft on July 25, 1909, winning a £1,000 prize offered by the London Daily Mail. Piloting his Type XI monoplane at an average of 39 miles per hour, Blériot made the trip of 23.2 miles in just under 36 minutes.

Photo: LIbrary of Congress