The woman who jumped from the Empire State building and lived

On December 2 in 1979, Elvita Adams decided to end her life. After losing her job, the 29-year-old Bronx woman was reportedly living off $100 welfare checks. Unable to pay the rent, her landlord was threatening to evict her and her 10-year old son. So in a deep depression and not knowing what to do, she found herself on top of the Empire State Building. She said later that she had wandered over from the Bronx to see the lights. “They were so pretty, I wanted to reach out and touch them,” she was quoted as saying afterwards.

Adams Esb

Adams climbed over the fence that surrounded the observation platform on the 86th floor and leapt to what she no doubt thought would be her death. But instead, something miraculous happened: a powerful wind — between 23 and 38 miles per hour, according to historical reports — was blowing towards the building, and it blew her back in to the 85th floor, where she landed on a small ledge. A security guard pulled her to safety through a window after he heard her moaning. She was taken to hospital, where she was diagnosed with a broken hip, and put under psychiatric watch, but later discharged (via All Things Interesting).

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