INTERNATIONAL AERONAUTIC TOURNAMENT, 1907
In 1907, St. Louis was host to the James Gordon Bennett International Aeronautic Club Race, the "first ever held in the United States."
The trophy, plus a cash prize of $2,500, had been donated in 1906 by James Gordon Bennett, publisher of the New York Herald-
Tribune, for an annual international long distance balloon race to be conducted by the International Aeronautical Federation.
The Aero Club of St. Louis decided to broaden the program into an aereonautic tournament by adding
two unique contests scheduled for the days after the start of the Gordon Bennett race.. In each event, $2,000 was to be awarded to the
winner and $500 the contestant who finished second. The first contest was for "Dirigible balloons or airships which are lighter than air,
being made so by a bag or envelope containing a gas lighter than air." A three-quarter-mile triangular course was laid out from the Aero
Club grounds in Forest Park north west to a captive balloon over the Amateur Athletic Association grounds, and then return to the
Charles J. Strobel, who owned the airships flown by Lincoln Beachey and
Jack Dallas, collected first and second prizes of $1,500 and $750 respectively. Thomas Scott Baldwin, who had finished a poor
third, received $250. In addition, a special purse of $375 was given to Cromwell Dixon in apreciation for his
excellent performance. Within four years, "the youngest aviator in the United States" would be killed when he crashed from a height of
100 feet at the International Fair Grounds in Spokane, Washington, on October 2, 1911.
From CITY OF FLIGHT