From the Annals of Space – In 1965, Astronaut Ed White of San Antonio became the first American to take a stroll in space. The so-called “space walk” occurred during the Gemini 4 mission. The extra-vehicular activity (according to NASA jargon) started on the third orbit when White opened the capsule’s hatch and used the hand-held manuevering oxygen-jet gun to push himself out into space. The EVA started over the Pacific Ocean near Hawaii and lasted 23 minutes, ending over the Gulf of Mexico. Initially, White propelled himself to the end of the 8 meter tether and back to the spacecraft three times using the hand-held gun. After the first three minutes the fuel ran out and White manuevered by twisting his body and pulling on the tether.
Photo from NASA archives.