April 28, 1947 - This was the day that a Norwegian adventurer named Thor Heyerdahl and five of his buddies set sail on a balsa wood raft called the Kon-Tiki. It was the beginning of a 101-day voyage from Peru to Polynesia.
By using native materials on his hand-built raft, Heyerdahl proved it was possible for ancient mariners to make the 4300-mile journey across the Pacific. Heyerdahl believed that people from the long-lost Incan empire were the original settlers of Polynesia. This theory runs counter to the prevailing archaeological and genetic evidence that points to an Asian origin.
Heyerdahl wrote a book about the adventure that's been translated into 50 languages. A documentary about the voyage won an Academy Award in 1951. Here's the trailer: