I’d rather be a rocket than a launching pad. I’d rather be a hammer than a nail. I’d rather be a human cannonball. That would be best. That would be unbelievably exciting. That would be the way to live. No safety nets. No crash helmets. Blasted through the air. But first before the launch, there’s some important research. Research, as Mr. Toad once said, is my life.
Hugo Zacchini may have been the first human cannoball. Born in Peru on October 20, 1898, he died on the same day in 1975 in San Bernardino. His wiki is only a stub but it tells the following about him:
*”He was known for being a daredevil and a painter, and for being litigious.” This is quite a sentence for a two paragraph biography.
*He was an interpreter of as many as 11 languages.
*He received two engineering degrees from the University of Florida, was educated at the Rome Arts Academy, and got a master’s degree at Jamstown (NY) Academy.
*He was the victorious named plaintiff in Zacchini v. Scripps Howard, 433 U.S. 562 (1977), decided by the US Supreme Court:
“Zacchini sued Scripps-Howard, the owner of an Ohio television station, when it filmed, and then broadcast on the evening news, Zacchini’s entire act of being shot out of a cannon at a county fair. The United States Supreme Court sided with Zacchini, ruling 5 to 4 that the publicity rights overrode the First Amendment rights in this case where the entire act was shown on television.”