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In 1986, the United Way of Cleveland in Ohio decided to organize a fundraising event and at the same time break the world record for the most simultaneous release of balloons set by Anaheim, in California, on the 30th anniversary of Disneyland just the previous year. On the morning of September 27, 1986, and the night before, a crowd of 2,500 students and volunteers filled 1.5 million balloons with helium inside an enormous white plastic balloon bin on the southwest quadrant of the square. A giant net covering the box kept the balloons together. At 1:50 p.m, the restrains were removed and the enormous mass of rubber and gas lifted out of the bin and towards the sky as spectators watched in awe. It was an incredible sight, but only for a while. Then the weather started to play havoc.


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