Chuck Yeager…

first person to break the sound barrier, was born on this date in 1923.

Yeager broke the sound barrier on October 14, 1947, reportedly with two ribs broken two nights before in a drunken horseback ride. The plane, Glamorous Glennis, is hanging from the Air & Space Museum ceiling. Glennis was Mrs. Yeager.

Yeager is the basis for the character played by Sam Shepard in The Right Stuff. Glennis was played by Barbara Hershey.

In his wonderful book The Right Stuff Tom Wolfe explains that West Virginian Yeager is the reason why all airline pilots talk with a drawl — to be like Yeager, “the most righteous of all the posessors of the right stuff.”