The first commercially successful container ship took its maiden voyage on a route from New Jersey to Texas. The Ideal X started life as a World War II T-2 oil tanker named Potrero Hills. Built by the Marinship Corporation in the early 1940s as part of its fleet of 93 ships constructed during that time,... Continue Reading →

The first streetcars in Chicago went into service. These streetcars, running on State Street between Randolph and 12th Streets in the city, were each pulled along by a single horse at about three miles (4.8 kilometers) per hour. In addition, the streetcars measured 12 feet (3.7 meters) in length and could carry up to 18... Continue Reading →

Two enterprising brothers named Orville and Wilbur Wright began selling an innovative type of bicycle they had developed at their shop at 22 South Williams Street in Dayton, Ohio. The brothers named their new bicycle the “Van Cleve.” The Van Cleves, who were ancestors of the Wright family, had been among the first white settlers... Continue Reading →

About five months after being launched, the Red Star Line steamship SS Zeeland completed her maiden voyage. The British-flagged ocean liner had departed the Belgian city of Antwerp on April 13, 1901. After being delayed by a thick fog, Zeeland made her way into New York City’s harbor on April 23. Zeeland was built specifically... Continue Reading →

Talk about an unexpected detour . . .  Thaddeus S.C. Lowe, a scientist and inventor who also possessed a strong passion for travel via air balloons, found himself inadvertently flying smack into potential wartime intrigue and danger. Lowe, who was born in New Hampshire, in 1832, possessed a tremendous curiosity about the world around him... Continue Reading →

The Old North Bridge in Concord, Massachusetts, made history during the first day of battle in the American War of Independence. This structure, immortalized by Ralph Waldo Emerson as “the rude bridge that arched the flood,” marked the location where colonial minutemen and others serving alongside them fought British light infantry companies that had come... Continue Reading →

Influential novelist and short story writer Ernest Hemingway acquired a 38-foot (12-meter) boat that would become an important part of his life and legacy. The boat had been constructed by Wheeler Shipbuilding of Brooklyn, New York, at the company’s Coney Island yard. Hemingway, who paid $7,495 for the customized boat, assumed ownership of the vessel in... Continue Reading →

USS Mount Vernon (LSD-39), a dock landing ship built by General Dynamics Corporation (GD) for the U.S. Navy’s use in providing logistical support for ground forces, was officially launched. The ceremony took place at GD’s Quincy Shipbuilding Division in eastern Massachusetts. Eileen Shillito christened the new ship: her husband Barry J. Shillito was serving at... Continue Reading →

Aviation pioneer Harriet Quimby became the first woman to fly across the English Channel. The Michigan-born pilot departed Dover, England, for Calais, France, in a monoplane that she had never flown before and with a compass she had just recently learned to use. Quimby, despite those challenges as well as thick fog that limited visibility... Continue Reading →

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