November 13, 1907 The first flight of a helicopter that was both piloted and untethered took place near the commune of Coquainvilliers in northwestern France. The pilot was engineer and bicycle-maker Paul Cornu in a twin-rotor aircraft that he had constructed. This experimental helicopter was outfitted with a 24-horsepower (18-kilowatt) Antoinette engine and had an... Continue Reading →

November 12, 2014 A pioneering system of trams (better known as streetcars or trolleys in North America) was opened to the public in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) city of Dubai. This 6.6-mile (10.6-kilometer)-long segment of the new system between Dubai Marina along the Persian Gulf shoreline and the city’s community of Al Sufouh had... Continue Reading →

During World War II, Minnie Spotted-Wolf became the first Native American woman to enlist in the U.S. Marine Corps (USMC). She further distinguished herself through her various transportation-oriented duties and accomplishments during her time in service. A member of the Blackfeet Tribe, Spotted-Wolf was born near the community of Heart Butte in western Montana in... Continue Reading →

November 7, 1987 In the Republic of Singapore, the first section of the high-capacity rail transportation system known as the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) officially began operations. At the time of its debut, the North South Line (NSL) of the MRT covered 3.7 miles (six kilometers) between the Yio Chu Kang station in Ang Mo... Continue Reading →

November 6, 1937 Construction began on the Highland Park Bridge in the northeast area of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. This truss bridge was built to carry vehicular traffic across the Allegheny River and between the Pittsburgh neighborhood of Highland Park and the borough of Aspinwall. The structure was specifically intended to replace a narrower bridge downstream that had... Continue Reading →

November 5, 2011 Better late than never . . . In southeast Australia, a lighthouse at Cape Wickham on King Island in the state of Tasmania was officially opened 150 years after first going into the service. This ceremony finally took place in 2011 because, during preparations to commemorate the lighthouse’s sesquicentennial, it was discovered... Continue Reading →

November 4, 1877 The Maria Pia Bridge in northern Portugal made its public debut. (At the time, the country was a constitutional monarchy formally known as the Kingdom of Portugal.) The railway bridge, which spans the River Douro and connects the city of Porto with the municipality of Via Nova de Gaia, resulted from a competition... Continue Reading →

In 1920, racecar driver John Riley Boling became the first Native American to compete in the Indianapolis 500. He finished 11th in a field of 23 drivers. (This was only the eighth running of the world-famous annual automobile race, which takes place at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.) Boling had been born in 1895 in Bloomfield,... Continue Reading →

October 31, 1956 [Photo courtesy of McDonnell Douglas.] The first-ever aircraft landing at the South Pole took place as a key part of Operation Deep Freeze II, the codename for a series of U.S. missions to Antarctica during 1956-57. The U.S. Navy plane used for this touching down at Earth’s southernmost point was a ski-equipped... Continue Reading →

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