Born on this day in Myra, West Virginia, "Right Stuff" American test pilot Charles "Chuck" Elwood Yeager (1923- ) was the first person to fly faster than the speed of sound.
"It opened up the universe," the legend said about his historic flight over the town of Victorville, California in 1947. His plane, named "Glamorous Glennis" after his wife, was a rocket-powered Bell-X-1 jet, shaped like a bullet and painted brilliant orange for better visibility.
"You don't concentrate on risks," said the brave pilot. "You concentrate on results. No risk is too great to prevent the necessary job from getting done."
As a Air Force combat pilot in World War II, the American hero shot down 11 German planes. Featured in Tom Wolf's book, The Right Stuff, Yeager helped train the first astronauts and flew over 100 missions in Vietnam in B-57 tactical bombers.
The retired brigadier general received a special peacetime Congressional Medal of Honor in 1976 and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1985.
"You do what you can for as long as you can, and when you finally can't, you do the next best thing. You back up but you don't give up."
Yeager broke the sound barrier for what he said was "the last time" in October 2002. This time he flew an F-15, also named "Glamorous Glennis."
Make your own rules.