On the eve of Thanksgiving, 1971, a time when smoking on airplanes was permitted and TSA was a twinkle in Uncle Sam’s eye, a man calling himself Dan Cooper hijacked a Northwest flight to Seattle-Tacoma. After the airline chose to hand over $200,000 and a parachute rather than find out of Cooper’s homemade bomb worked, Cooper jumped from the back of the plane, never to be seen again. When the papers erroneously reported the alias as “DB Cooper,” a legend was born. Wikipedia can give you a good account of the twists and turns since then.
I learned today, as I face the end of my Thanksgiving vacation, that a festival in his honor is held ever Saturday after Thanksgiving in the small town of Ariel, WA. It would seem Cooper is hailed as a Robin Hood figure, or at least an all-American rebel.
While I won’t begrudge the people of Ariel a way to bring people to their town, I will stick with Thanksgiving as my November holiday of choice.
To my fellow Americans, I hope you and yours had a pleasant holiday in what has otherwise been a contentious year.
PS: I think Cooper died in the jump.