This Day in Minnesota History

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Today's Date: August 19

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1862

During the U.S.-Dakota War, the Dakota make their first attack on New Ulm, and Governor Alexander Ramsey appoints Henry H. Sibley general of the Minnesota Volunteers. Although Sibley had no military experience, Ramsey selected him because the settlers trusted him and because he had a long history with the Dakota and their leaders.

1863

Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin, inventor of the airships that would be used to bomb London in World War I, enjoys a more conventional balloon ascension in St. Paul.

1957

The air force launches the ultra-high-level balloon Man-High II in Crosby. Pilot David Simons reaches a record 101,516 feet (almost twenty-one miles) before setting down in Elm Lake, South Dakota. The flight takes thirty-two hours and ten minutes, but Simons occupies the balloon's capsule, from pre-launch to landing, for forty-four hours, a period longer than Charles Lindbergh's solo flight across the Atlantic.