In October 1941 Devils Tower National Monument made headlines across the nation. A professional parachutist named George Hopkins was stuck atop the Tower with no way down. Who was this person, why was he on Devils Tower, and how was he going to down?
During the first part of the 1900s, several advancements in parachute technology had been made; the devices were still rudimentary by today's standards, however. George Hopkins already held a number of records for spectacular parachute jumps, but he looked to push the envelope even further. He wanted to set a world record for number of parachute jumps in a single day. To create publicity for this idea, he determined a single, spectacular jump would do the trick.
Without the consent or knowledge of National Park Service officials, Hopkins parachuted from an airplane to the top of Devils Tower. He wanted to prove that a parachutist could land precisely on a small target - the Tower summit being just over one acre in size. His plan was to descend using a 1,000-foot rope which would be dropped from the plane after him. Hopkins hit his mark, but his rope landed out of reach on the side of the Tower, leaving him stuck on top.