This Day in Pop Culture for August 7

The Walk

1974: Philippe Petit Tightropes Between the Twin Towers

It was on this day in 1974 that Philippe Petit traveled the void between the World Trade Center towers, 1350 feet off the ground, via tightrope. The “rope” was actually a 450 pound cable and he used a 26 foot long balancing pole which weighed 55 pounds. In 45 minutes, he managed to make four round trips on the wire, an act that was not approved of. Fortunately for Petit, all charges were dropped in exchange for a performance for children. On October 2, 2015, Robert Zemeckis will released the film The Walk based on the event. (Image: TriStar/Wikimedia)


1987: Swimming from the U.S. to the Soviet Union

On this day in 1987, Lynne Cox became the first person to swim from the United States to the Soviet Union. The trip from Little Diomede in Alaska to Big Diomeded (then a part of the Soviet Union) took two hours and five minutes to complete in water that was a chilly 43 to 44 degrees. This trip was relatively short compared to other swimming challenges that she has tackled. She swam across the English Channel from England to France twice. In 1972 it took her nine hours and 57 minutes and the following year it took her nine hours and 36 minutes. In 1976 Cox was the first person to the Straits of Magellan in Chile and the first to swim around the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa.


  • 1916: Kemit Love (puppeteer)
  • 1926: Stan Freberg (voice actor)
  • 1942: Garrison Keillor (storyteller)
  • 1942: B.J. Thomas (singer)
  • 1944: John Glover (actor)
  • 1955: Wayne Knight (actor)
  • 1960: David Duchovny (actor)
  • 1974: Michael Shannon (actor)
  • 1975: Charlize Theron (actress)
  • 1979: Eric Johnson (actor)

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