May 24, 1862 The second and current version of Westminster Bridge in London was opened. This structure, spanning the River Thames, replaced the original bridge that had made its debut in the mid-18th century and was closed in 1846 (and subsequently demolished) due to deterioration. The opening of the new road-and-foot-traffic bridge took place on the... Continue Reading →

Aviation pioneer Arthur Chin was born in Portland, Oregon, in 1913 to a mother with a Peruvian background and a Chinese father of Taishanese origin. Arthur Chin developed a strong interest in human flight at an early age. When he was 18, he took lessons at the Al Greenwood flying school in Portland. In 1933,... Continue Reading →

May 22, 1920 The final day of the National Ship by Truck-Good Roads Week in the United States took place. The week had been coordinated by the Firestone Tire & Rubber Company as part of its ongoing and ambitious efforts to promote the short-haul shipping benefits of trucks and – in a priority shared by... Continue Reading →

When she was sworn in as the 18th U.S. secretary of transportation in January 2017, Elaine L. Chao became the first Asian-American woman and the first Chinese-American to hold that position. (During her tenure as U.S. secretary of labor from 2001 to 2009, she was the first-ever person in both of those categories to be... Continue Reading →

May 20, 1899 The first known official speeding infraction in the United States involving a “horseless carriage” took place in New York City. Jacob German was driving an electric taxi for the Electric Vehicle Company when city policeman John Schuessler – riding a bicycle at the time -- caught up with him. Schuessler had observed German speeding... Continue Reading →

May 17, 1920 Royal Dutch Airlines, or KLM (Koninklijke Luchtvaart Maatschappij N.V.), began service with a flight between Croydon Airport in London, England, and Amsterdam Airport Schiphol in the Netherlands. This airline, like several others in major European countries, came into existence within the first few years after the end of World War I. Royal... Continue Reading →

Melvin Kealoha Bell of the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) played a major lifesaving role when it came to maritime traffic during one of the darkest chapters in American history. Bell was born in 1920 in the town of Hilo on the island of Hawaii (popularly known as the “Big Island”), part of what was then... Continue Reading →

May 15, 1928 The pioneering non-profit Australian Inland Mission (AIM) Aerial Medical Service was established in the town of Cloncurry in Queensland, Australia. Reverend John Flynn, a Presbyterian minister, launched this use of aircraft as ambulances in the Australian Outback as a “mantle of safety” for those living in remote, underserved areas and lacking ready transportation... Continue Reading →

Kalpana Chawla, an American astronaut who became the first woman of Indian descent to travel into space, was born in the city of Karnal in northern India in 1962. As a child, she demonstrated a strong enthusiasm for human flight by drawing pictures of airplanes. She also visited flying clubs in that region of India... Continue Reading →

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