And, reports CBS News correspondent John Blackstone , it wasn't long after the miraculous landing that, across the continent in Danville, Calif., word spread of its new hometown hero.
"In a small town, everybody says they know him, whether it's true or not!" says Danville Mayor Newell Arnerich.
But, says Blackstone, plenty of people in the town of 43,000, a half-hour east of San Francisco, really do know US Airways Capt. Sullenberger as "Sully."
"We're not surprised. Sully's extremely intelligent, very conscientious," says one neighbor.
For Sully's wife and daughters, the hero worship, with tens of thousands praising him on Facebook, has been a little unnerving.
"The girls went to sleep last night talking - I could hear them in the bedrooms saying - 'Is this weird, or what?!'" says Sullenberger's wife, Lorrie Sullenberger.
Danville was planning a big parade. But, says Blackstone, the "Hero of the Hudson" asked for something more modest - a welcome home, later today, on the town green.
"This is his town," says Americh. "He wants to keep it simple, and I think that the public is going to find out what a wonderful, humble hero we have."
Because Capt. Sullenberger is under orders not to talk about the accident at the gathering on the town green, he won't say much more than "Thank you."
But of course, the whole idea of the gathering is to say "thank you" to him.