June 1, 1905 A year after construction on it had begun, a lighthouse on the eastern edge of Middle Island in Lake Huron officially went into service. (Middle Island is about 10 miles [16 kilometers] north of the city of Alpena in Michigan.) The first person to serve as keeper at Middle Island Light was... Continue Reading →

Swati Mohan is an aerospace engineer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), a research and development center that is based in Pasadena, California, and managed by the California Institute of Technology. Since 2013, she has been significantly involved in the Mars 2020 mission. A large part of this mission has entailed dispatching both the rover... Continue Reading →

May 30, 1914 The Cunard Line ship RMS Aquitania, in her maiden voyage, left Liverpool, England, for New York. In doing so, Aquitania joined the RMS Mauretania and RMS Lusitania as Cunard Line’s “grand trio” of express ocean liners providing regular transatlantic service. Aquitania would be nicknamed “Ship Beautiful” due to her reputation as one... Continue Reading →

May 26, 1927 Automotive pioneer Henry Ford sent a telegram that went out under the name of his son Edsel to all 10,000 of the Ford automobile dealers. This telegram announced that, after 19 years of manufacturing the influential and popular Model T, the company would replace that model with an “entirely new Ford car.”  Along... Continue Reading →

May 25, 2008 A pontoon bridge in the Okanagan Valley of the Canadian province of British Columbia was opened to traffic. (A pontoon bridge has floats or shallow-draft boats to support a continuous deck.) This bridge crosses Okanagan Lake and serves as a link between the cities of Kelowna and West Kelowna. This structure replaced... Continue Reading →

As a longtime businessman and civic leader in the city of Portland in Oregon, Bill Naito became a strong champion of public transportation initiatives in that part of the world. He was born in Portland on September 16, 1925, to Hide and Fukiye Naito, who had immigrated to the United States from Japan in 1912.... Continue Reading →

May 23, 1848 Aviation pioneer Otto Lilienthal was born in the town of Anklam in what was then the Kingdom of Prussia (now part of the Federal Republic of Germany). Lilienthal would be called everything from the “Glider King” to “The Father of Flight” for his efforts to make human aviation much more of a reality... Continue Reading →

May 22, 1899 A new and important word found its way into the transportation lexicon of the United States when Charles B. Shanks, a reporter with the Cleveland-based Plain Dealer newspaper, became the first known person in the country to use the French word “automobile.” This word made its official American debut in the first of... Continue Reading →

May 19, 1897 In southeastern New Hampshire, construction on the Exeter Street Railway -- an electric streetcar line that would link together the towns of Exeter and Hampton as well as the highly popular Hampton Beach resort -- officially began with a late-morning ceremony.  At around 10:30 a.m., Judge Charles M. Lamprey spoke to those... Continue Reading →

May 18, 1947 The streamlined passenger train Silver Comet was inaugurated with a great deal of fanfare by the Seaboard Air Line Railroad (SAL) at Penn Station in New York City. Prior to its first-time run between New York City and Birmingham, Alabama, this newly built train was christened by film and stage actress Jean... Continue Reading →

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