60 Moments: Chuck Yeager Breaks Sound Barrier

The race for outer space was more than 60 years ago. America was attempting to go where no man had gone before.

That's when a young man from Lincoln County West Virginia became a hero overnight. On October 14, 1947 Chuck Yeager smashed the sound barrier.

No one knew what would happen to the human body at speeds that fast-- but that didn't stop him from reaching for the sky and ushering in the supersonic age. He doesn't consider himself a hero or "the right stuff," he says he was just in the right place at the right time.

After his historic flight, he spent fifty years piloiting and developing new planes with the military. Although he no longer lives within the boundaries of West Virginia, he says his heart still belongs to the Mountain State.

Today, Marshall University is able to attract bright and talented students from across the country through a scholarship that bears his name. A fund that helps young men and women smash barriers of their own as they reach for the stars.

Click here to return to the 60 Moments in WSAZ History page.

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