Up, up and away! According to History dot com it was on this date in 1785 that Frenchman Jean-Pierre Blanchard and American John Jeffries traveled from Dover, England, to Calais, France, in a gas balloon, becoming the first to cross the English Channel by air. The two men nearly crashed into the Channel along the way.  Their balloon was weighed down by a bunch of extra supplies, like anchors, a nonfunctional hand-operated propeller, and silk-covered oars.  They thought that they could row their way through the air. Just before reaching the French coast, the two balloonists were forced to throw nearly everything out of the balloon, and Blanchard even threw his trousers over the side in a desperate, but apparently successful, attempt to lighten the ship.  He was arrested in France for indecent exposure.  Ok, I just made that last part up.