September 16, 1927

In a staged publicity event, MGM Studios attempts to make the first nonstop flight across the US with an animal on board an aircraft. Noted pilot Martin Jensen was chosen to fly Leo, MGM’s trademark lion, from San Diego, Calif., to New York City for a promotional tour. Man and beast never arrive, however. After a nationwide search and three days of front-page headlines, Jensen and Leo are found unhurt in the Arizona desert. A storm had forced Jensen down, and the Ryan BI monoplane (that had been fitted with a steel cage for Leo) was heavily damaged on landing.