On This Date: December 31, 1967 Evel Knievel Attempts to Jump Caesars Palace’s Fountains

December 31, 2017
Evel Knievel failed attempt to jump the fountains at Caesars Place on December 31, 1967

Evel Knievel failed attempt to jump the fountains at Caesars Place on December 31, 1967

On December 31, 1967, Daredevil Evel Knievel attempted to jump over the water fountains at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. Knievel’s jump was a 141 foot attempt and his longest to-date.  When he hit the takeoff ramp, he felt the motorcycle unexpectedly decelerate. The sudden loss of power on the takeoff caused Knievel to come up short and land on the safety ramp which was supported by a van. This caused the handlebars to be ripped out of his hands as he tumbled over them onto the pavement where he skidded into the Dunes parking lot. As a result of the crash, Knievel suffered a crushed pelvis and femur, fractures to his hip, wrist, and both ankles and a concussion that kept him in the hospital for a month in a reported coma for 29 days.

The Caesars Palace crash was Knievel’s longest attempted motorcycle jump at 141 feet. After his crash and recovery, Knievel was more famous than ever. ABC-TV bought the rights to the film of the jump; paying far more than they originally would have had they televised the original jump live. Ironically, when Knievel finally achieved the fame he had always wanted, and fortune now a distinct possibility, his doctors were telling him that he might never walk without the aid of crutches, let alone ride and jump motorcycles again.

On September 15, 1980, Gary Wells gained much media coverage, and much physical suffering, when he unsuccessfully tried to jump a motorcycle over the water fountains at the Caesars Palace. He sustained injuries to many different parts of his body.

April 14, 1989, Robbie Knievel, Evel’s son, successfully completed what his father could not do years before by completing the fountain jump.

On May 4, 2006, Mike ‘The Godfather’ Metzger jumped the Caesars Palace’s fountains that included a back flip.

 

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