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 →

The salvage tugboat Abeille Bourbon was launched at the city of Brest on the western edge of France. Abeille Bourbon is owned by Les Abeilles International, a unit of the shipping company Groupe Bourbon, and was chartered to the French Navy for use as a deep-sea emergency tow vessel. The yacht-like Abeille Bourbon was designed... Continue Reading →

On the southwestern coast of present-day South Africa, a new lighthouse began operations near the city of Cape Town. (At the time of the lighthouse’s debut, this region was a part of the British colony known as the Cape Colony.) While built at Mouille Point, the lighthouse was formally named after the local community of... Continue Reading →

Frank N. Piasecki, an engineer, made the second successful U.S. helicopter flight. In 1940, he helped form the P-V Engineering Forum to build and improve upon Igor Sikorsky’s pioneering helicopter flight over American soil the previous year. Piasecki’s company, however, was strapped for cash. He and his engineering team ended up becoming expert scroungers, searching... Continue Reading →

British cyclist Gordon W. “Tiny” Thomas died in the city Peterborough in eastern England at the age of 91. He had been born in the town of Shipley in northern England’s county of West Yorkshire in 1921. Thomas acquired the nickname “Tiny” when, as a 12-year-old joining a local cycling group known as the Yorkshire... Continue Reading →

At a press conference at the Dolley Madison House in Washington, D.C., the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) officially introduced the first group of American astronauts. These astronauts would take part in the human spaceflight program called Project Mercury. “Seven young military pilots were presented today as the nation’s future pioneers in space,” reported... Continue Reading →

Varney Air Lines officially began service with a history-making U.S. airmail flight that originated in the city of Pasco, Washington. “America’s most modern and rapid transportation of mail was brought to the northwest today,” reported that day’s edition of the Salt Lake Tribune. Walter T. Varney, a pilot in the aviation section of the U.S.... Continue Reading →

The twin-screw turbine steamer SS Ben-my-Chree was launched at North West England’s Cammell Laird shipyard, where she had been constructed. The steamer was the fourth Cammell Laird vessel to be named Ben-my-Chree, which means “girl of my heart” in the Manx language that is native to that region’s Isle of Man. This latest version of... Continue Reading →

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