January 18, 1865 The foundation stone was laid for a lighthouse on Amédée Island, a part of what was then the French dependency of New Caledonia in the southwest Pacific Ocean. (New Caledonia was reclassified as an overseas territory of France in 1946.) Amédée Island is located about 15 miles (24 kilometers) from the present-day... Continue Reading →

January 17, 1936 The Airstream Trailer Company introduced a highly innovative and influential travel trailer. The new vehicle was called the Airstream Clipper, and the major force behind its creation was Wally Byam. He had been born in 1896 in Baker City, Oregon, and spent a great deal of his adolescence working on a sheep... Continue Reading →

January 16, 1967 In the presence of a large crowd in the East Room of the White House, Alan S. Boyd was sworn in as the first U.S. secretary of transportation by Judge James Durfee of the U.S. Court of Claims. The 42-year-old Boyd stepped into the job just a couple of months before the... Continue Reading →

January 15, 1931 Union Station in Omaha, Nebraska, was officially dedicated about a year-and-a-half after the ground-breaking ceremony for this train terminal. As part of the ceremony, Omaha Mayor Richard L. Metcalfe opened the main door of the 124,000-square-foot (11,520-square-meter) building with a gold key. Carl R. Gray, president of the Union Pacific Railroad, used the... Continue Reading →

January 14, 2010 Checker Motors Corporation, a longtime vehicle manufacturer that was best known for its popular taxicabs, ceased to exist altogether with the sale of the company’s headquarters in Kalamazoo, Michigan. The company’s origins can be traced to the early 1920s, when a Chicago clothier named Morris Markin became the owner of an automobile body... Continue Reading →

January 11, 1913 In France, a transportation milestone in Paris took place when the last of the city’s horse-drawn omnibuses (horse-buses) made its final run. This means of transit first became a major part of daily life in France’s capital in 1828, when horse-buses began running on a regular basis between the right bank of... Continue Reading →

January 10, 1987 A major transportation milestone for India was achieved when the nation’s first crew to sail around the world completed their ambitious journey, returning to Bombay (now known as Mumbai) 470 days after leaving from there. All 10 of the crew members were from the Indian Army Corps of Engineers. The vessel they... Continue Reading →

January 9, 1996 At the age of 71, aviation pioneer Berta Zerón de García – with more than 10,000 flight hours to her credit – took to the skies as a pilot for the last time. The airplane that she flew for her final trip was a Cessna 206. Born in the city of Pachuca in... Continue Reading →

January 8, 2004 Queen Elizabeth II christened the transatlantic ocean liner RMS Queen Mary 2 in Southampton, England. Queen Mary 2 was the first major ocean liner built since Queen Elizabeth 2 in 1969, and she succeeded that earlier vessel as the Cunard Line’s flagship. “A steel-hulled behemoth, the Queen Mary 2 is the largest... Continue Reading →

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