The Meal wrote:
Also, does anyone know how to spell Snopes? (Oh, nevermind
You doubted me?
Dude. I was alive when this happened. I can vividly remember it on the front page of the Sunday Post-Dispatch. As grade school kids it was an immensely popular topic of discussion.http://www.cr.nps.gov/history/online_bo ... hi2-13.htm
The other major way in which people tried to "conquer" the Gateway Arch was by scaling it and/or parachuting from it. The first instance of this behavior ended in tragedy. On Saturday, November 22, 1980, at approximately 8:55 a.m., Kenneth Swyers of Overland, Missouri, "was seen parachuting above the Gateway Arch. It appeared that Swyers landed on top of the Arch and that he was thrown off balance when the wind caught his parachute. Swyers' parachute deflated and [he] fell down the North Leg of the Arch. Approximately [half-way] down Swyers attempted to deploy his auxiliary parachute, however it failed to open and Swyers landed on his head on the concrete terrazzo. Swyers was pronounced dead at the St. Louis City Hospital at 0950 hours." 
The 33-year-old Swyers requested permission to make a parachute jump in the vicinity of the Arch on August 21, 1980, which was denied by Charles Ross, special assistant to the superintendent. Swyers watched a television program the night before his death which showed daredevil acts of parachute jumping. Swyers was himself a parachute enthusiast who had made more than 1,600 jumps, and on the morning of his death, he left a note for his wife to come to the Arch to photograph his jump. Few park employees or visitors were on the grounds before 9:00 a.m. in late November when Swyers made his jump. Park Technician Lisa Hanfgarn, hurrying to get to work on time, thought she saw an object fall down the North Leg of the Arch as she entered the doors to the complex. She reported this to Seasonal Park Technician Liz Schmidt (of the law enforcement division), who was monitoring the north entrance doors. Schmidt went outside to discover the body of Swyers lying in the midst of his parachutes, and immediately radioed to law enforcement rangers requesting assistance, an ambulance and the city police. Two St. Louis city policemen, who witnessed the jump from Wharf Street, arrived on the scene and documented the fatal injury to Swyers. An ambulance was on the scene by 8:59 a.m. Mr. Swyers' wife was on the grounds at the time of the accident and saw her husband fall to his death. She came forward at the accident scene, viewing her husband's body and eventually covering his face with his parachute. A large crowd gathered, composed of visitors, police and medical personnel. Park Technician Schmidt later testified that the weather was blustery, cold and windy, and that it was not a good day for a jump, near the Arch or elsewhere. The FAA was immediately notified, and an investigation eventually turned up the pilot who ferried Swyers over the Arch to make his fatal jump. As a result, Richard Skurat of Overland, Missouri had his pilot's license suspended for 90 days by the FAA in December 1980. 
"It's my manner, sir. It looks insubordinate, but it isn't, really."