The date in history: Clinton fesses up

The date in history: Clinton fesses up

It's hard to tell how many times we've heard Bill Clinton's adamant denial of an affair with a White House intern.

The news clip has been played ad nauseam since the president made the remark in January 1998, as he talked with reporters about his upcoming State of the Union speech.

It includes the now infamous words, "I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky."  Who hasn't heard or done a good impression of that phrase?

Apparently, Clinton did have something with the 25-year-old, as he admitted publicly months later.

The president fessed up in a national television address seen seventeen years ago tonight, Aug. 17, 1998.  His most telling line was this one, "Indeed, I did have a relationship with Miss Lewinsky that was not appropriate."

The indiscretion almost got Bill tossed out of office, although no one seriously thought he'd be impeached over the matter. He was impeached, by the U.S. House of Representatives, but was acquitted by the Senate.

This date is also known for something that happened overseas involving three American pilots.

Ben Abruzzo, Maxie Anderson and Larry Newman flew their hot air balloon, Double Eagle II, into the record books on Aug. 17, 1978.

The trio landed in a barley field in France, ending the first successful flight of a balloon across the Atlantic Ocean. It took them 137 hours 6 minutes to travel from Presque Isle, ME to Miserey, France.

The crew had been given clearance to land at Le Bourget Airfield in Paris, where Charles Lindbergh had ended his solo airplane flight, but declined because they were running out of ballast.

Sadly, all three eventually ran out of time.

The men have died since the record-breaking performance. Maxie Anderson perished in a balloon accident in 1983. Ben Abruzzo was killed in a plane crash two years later, and Larry Newman died of pancreatic cancer in 2010.

If you were choosing the more heroic performance, the balloon beats Clinton hands down.

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