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Frank Goodale: The World's Youngest Boy Aeronaut

1On May 29, 1909, Palisades opened for their 1909 season and featured “the world's youngest boy aeronaut,” Frank Goodale. He flew his cigar-shaped dirigible from the amusement park, over the Hudson River, circled around Grant’s Tomb in New York, and returned to the starting point.

Goodale started his aerial career in 1907 at the age of eighteen. When he first came to Palisades in 1909, he was so well received by the patrons that by 1911, the owners of the amusement park, Nick and Joe Schenck, decided to buy Goodale his own balloon and placed him on the Park's payroll.1

The airship company that owned the rights to Goodale's performances obtained an injunction prohibiting the young pilot from flying, claiming breach of contract; Goodale had three years remaining on his five-year pact. After months of legal battle, the matter was settled out of court just in time for the young daredevil to be back in the skies for the July 4 holiday.

On June 2, 1934, a special postal commemorative cover was issued to pay tribute to these historical first flights across the Hudson River.

This postal cover validates Frank Goodale's contributions to lighter-than-air flight.This rare commemorative cover was generously donated to the Palisades Amusement Park Historical Society in November 2002 by Doug Finch. Doug is a philatelic expert and has authored several articles for philatelic magazines.

The PAP Historical Society would  to take this time to thank Doug Finch for his contribution to preserve the memories of Palisades. 



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