Notable Channel crossings
On January 7, 1785 Frenchman Jean-Pierre Blanchard and American John Jeffries traveled from Dover, England to Calais, France in a gas balloon, becoming the first to cross the English Channel by air.
The first person to swim the channel was Matthew Webb in 1875. On August 6, 1926, Gertrude Ederle became the first woman to accomplish this feat, breaking the men's record of the time by two hours.
In 1909, Louis Bleriot from France was the first person to fly over the English Channel in a heavier-than-air aircraft.
In 1979, a 75-pound airplane called the Gossamer Albatross won the £100,000 Kremer prize for being the first human-powered airplane to fly over the Channel. The pilot Bryan Allen pedaled for 3 hours to accomplish this feat.
On July 31, 2003, Austrian skydiver Felix Baumgartner, wearing high-tech carbon wings, jumped out of a plane 30,000 feet above Dover, England, freefalled over the Channel, and opened his parachute above Calais, France.