From August 12th to 20th, 1911, Chicago, Illinois, was host to the greatest aviation meet held in the U.S. during the Exhibition Era. Grant Park, a vast open area located between Michigan Avenue and Lake Michigan, was the site of the meet. The location was spectacular, the crowd watched the aerial contrivances from huge bleachers seating 75,000 people, with the sometimes brooding, sometimes shimmering Lake Michigan as a backdrop.
One of the highlights of the event was Lincoln Beachey's altitude flight. He flew until he ran out of fuel, at slightly over two miles above Grant Park. He then began a long volplane (glide) back to earth, having won a world's record.
Lincoln Beachey also won the Auditorium Hotel Trophy for the fastest 20-mile flight, which he made in 23 minutes and 12 seconds. This trophy was donated to the Smithsonian Institution by Hillery Beachey.