In 1979, two families escaped East Germany in a homemade hot air balloon. They flew for 28 minutes at −8 °C (18 °F) with no shelter as the gondola was just a clothesline railing. They landed just 10km (6.2 mi) from the border. The escape was planned out over 1 and 1/2 years and took 3 attempts.
The owner and only resident of this ghost town Lucin, Utah is a former Prague University engineering student who at 24 escaped the Iron Curtain in 1984 using his DIY glider powered with a 600cc Trabant engine, and landed undetected at Vienna International Airport.
Svalbard, a Norwegian archipelago with a population of 3 000, is the only visa-free zone in the world meaning that anybody may live and work there indefinitely regardless of country of citizenship.
A Dutch church performed services continuously for 96 days, to stop the government from expelling an Armenian family. They relied on a medieval law that says authorities can’t enter a church while a religious service is being performed. The government let the family stay.
The Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard which is roughly the size of Ireland is an entirely visa-free zone, meaning anyone may live and work on Svalbard indefinitely regardless of country of citizenship.
Orestes Lorenzo, a Cuban fighter pilot, defected to the US. He flew to Florida in a MiG-23 and requested his family join him, when his family were banned from leaving Cuba he raised money to buy a plane. He then flew back to Cuba, landed on a highway an bought his family back himself.
Melania Trump secured a ‘genius visa’ for ‘extraordinary ability’ while dating Donald Trump.
Upper Peninsula of Michigan is the only region in the US where Finnish Americans make up a plurality of the population. Even the local English dialect is influenced by Finnish.
In Hidalgo, Mexico, there’s an amusement park attraction that offers visitors a fake illegal border crossing experience.
Between 1907 and 1922, American-born women who married non-citizens automatically lost American citizenship. In 1917, hundreds of American women who had married German men were forced to register with the government as ‘enemy aliens’.