The Board of Road Commissioners for Alaska – better known as the Alaska Road Commission (ARC) – was organized by order of U.S. War Secretary (and future president) William Howard Taft to oversee construction of highways in what was then an American territory. The ARC was created in response to a steadily growing demand for adequate... Continue Reading →

In the midst of World War II, U.S. Navy Commander Gordon Paiʻea Chung-Hoon (1910-1979) took over command of the Fletcher-class destroyer USS Sigsbee in the Pacific Theater. Chung-Hoon, who was born in Honolulu to a Chinese-English-Hawaiian father and a Hawaiian mother, had made history in 1934 as the first person to be both an Asian-American and... Continue Reading →

The Los Angeles Times highlighted an important but increasingly overlooked aviation pioneer from the World War II era. Hazel Ying Lee was the first Chinese-American woman to fly in support of U.S. military efforts, and the article in the Los Angeles Times focused on a 1944 letter from her to one of her still-surviving relatives.... Continue Reading →

The Argentine Navy ship ARA Buenos Aires was launched. The vessel, which Marine Engineer magazine characterized at the time as “a very remarkable cruiser,” was built by British manufacturer Armstrong, Mitchell & Co. Ltd. The launch of the Buenos Aires took place at the company’s shipyard in the city of Newcastle in northeastern England. “She... Continue Reading →

In a ceremony at the U.S. Labor Department headquarters in Washington, D.C., approximately 12,000 Chinese immigrant laborers were inducted into the Labor Hall of Honor for their work on the First Transcontinental Railroad during the 1860s. These laborers were the first Asian Americans to be inducted into the Hall of Labor since its establishment in... Continue Reading →

A few years before European automotive pioneers such as Karl Benz and Gottlieb Daimler introduced their own versions of the "horseless carriage," a lawyer and inventor from Rochester, New York, named George B. Selden filed the first U.S. patent for an automobile. Selden, who was 32 at the time, submitted a patent application for what... Continue Reading →

Manjirō Nakahama became the first known Japanese immigrant to the United States when he arrived in New Bedford, Massachusetts, on board the American whaleship John Howland. He was only 16 at the time. Manjirō had been a fisherman in the coastal village of Naka-no-hama on Shikoku, one of Japan’s four main islands. His life underwent... Continue Reading →

Not long after Najeeb Elias Halaby, Jr., stepped down as administrator of the Federal Aviation Agency (the present-day Federal Aviation Administration), various newspapers carried an Associated Press story about his just-released congressional testimony earlier in the year on a major aviation challenge. “Drunk Flying Among Private Pilots is Serious Problem,” proclaimed the headline in one... Continue Reading →

Southeastern England’s Canterbury and Whitstable Railway – also known by its nickname the “Crab and Winkle Line” – was officially opened. That public railway, linking the famed cathedral city of Canterbury with the seaside town of Whitstable, was created to transport both passengers and freight. The railway relied on cable haulage by steam engines over... Continue Reading →

May 1, 2001 Charles Elachi officially assumed his duties as the eighth director of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), a California-based federally funded research and development center and NASA field center. Elachi had been born in the town of Rayak in Lebanon in 1947. Elachi received a bachelor’s degree in physics from Joseph Fourier University... Continue Reading →

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