May 31, 1879 A new type of electric locomotive was introduced in Germany at the Berlin Industrial Exhibition. This locomotive, developed by engineer Werner von Siemens, did not need batteries to operate. This marked the first time that a generator provided the electrical energy needed to power a locomotive. Originally constructed for use in a... Continue Reading →

May 29, 1950 The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) schooner St. Roch arrived in Halifax, Nova Scotia, after becoming the first ship to circumnavigate North America. The ship, which was launched in 1928, was specially designed and built to withstand the heavy ice pressures of Canada’s Arctic region. The vessel’s original purpose included serving as... Continue Reading →

May 25, 2015 Time magazine published an interview with U.S. Navy Admiral Harry B. Harris, Jr., just a couple of days before he began officially serving as head of the U.S. Pacific Command (the oldest and largest of the unified combatant commands of the U.S. Armed Forces). Harris is the first Asian-American to achieve the... Continue Reading →

May 24, 1843 In the British colony (and present-day state) of Western Australia, the first of a series of bridges known as the Causeway was opened to serve as a crossing over the Swan River and connect the town (now city) of Perth with the port of Fremantle.  For more than a decade, many settlers... Continue Reading →

May 23, 1960 In central California, the San Mateo-based newspaper The Times reported on a U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) helicopter rescue the previous night at a beach in the region. “‘Copter Saves Injured Pair From Beach,” read the article’s headline. The trouble began while a young couple was picnicking and sunbathing along the edge of... Continue Reading →

May 22, 1849 Abraham Lincoln, at the time 40 years old and a self-described "prairie lawyer" from Illinois (as well as a recently retired one-term U.S. congressman), was issued a patent for a flotation device for the movement of boats in shallow water. To date, this patent is the only one ever registered to somebody... Continue Reading →

May 21, 1979 The U.S Air Force (USAF), in a key victory for a group of American women who had flown planes in support of their country during World War II, officially recognized the active military status of the Women’s Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) during that global conflict and issued honorable discharges to those aviators.... Continue Reading →

May 18, 1997 The STS-84 spaceflight mission was very much in progress three days after its seven-member crew lifted off from John F. Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida on board Space Shuttle Atlantis. This mission was part of the Shuttle-Mir Program, a collaborative effort between the United States and Russia that included having American... Continue Reading →

May 17, 1976 The first commuter aerial tramway in North America was officially opened in New York City. This tramway, spanning the East River, serves as a public transit connection between Roosevelt Island and the Upper East Side of Manhattan. (An aerial tramway is a means of overhead transportation in which as many as two... Continue Reading →

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