Throwback Thursday: a high dive fires up a chilly Rochester crowd

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On October 24, 1936, Rochester hosted the second annual Southern Minnesota Radio day, which included a parade and musical performances.

The show-stopping event, though, was a high dive stunt performed by Captain Jack Payne.

Behind the public library, which was then located at 2nd Street and 1st Avenue SW, Payne dove from an 86-foot tower into a 6-foot deep pool of water, which happened to have a gasoline film on its surface that was ignited.

The Rochester Post Bulletin wrote of the dive, “Hitting the water in the center of the tank the downward plunge is broken and Captain Payne shoots up and out of the burning gasoline.”

This photo is part of the extensive collection at the History Center of Olmsted County.

Jacob Murphey

Jacob Murphey

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