April 17, 1964 The Ford Mustang, a trend-setting automobile produced by Ford Motor Company and described in that day’s edition of the New York Times as “a cross between a sports car and a family sedan,” made its official debut at the World's Fair in New York City. The Mustang was the result of Ford’s... Continue Reading →

April 16, 1831   The side-wheeler steamboat Yellowstone (also spelled out as Yellow Stone) departed St. Louis, Missouri, for her maiden voyage. The vessel, which was characterized by the St. Louis Register later that spring as a “new and handsome steam boat,” had been built in Louisville, Kentucky, for merchant John Jacob Astor’s American Fur Company. The... Continue Reading →

April 15, 1936   The government of the Irish Free State (the present-day Republic of Ireland) formally established Aer Lingus Teoranta as the national airline. Seán Ó hUadhaigh served as the company’s first chairman. “Aer Lingus” is derived from the Irish term “aerloingeas,” which means “air fleet,” while “Teoranta” is the Irish phrase for “limited company.”... Continue Reading →

April 12, 1792 The Second U.S. Congress authorized the creation of a pioneering lighthouse in New York. The actual construction of this lighthouse, which is located at the easternmost point of Long Island in the hamlet of Montauk, finally took place four years later. Montauk Point Lighthouse was the first lighthouse built within the state... Continue Reading →

April 11, 1936 The first trackless trolley line in the Boston metropolitan area made its debut when the Boston Elevated Railway (BERy) introduced trolleybuses on what had been a streetcar route between Harvard Square and Lechmere Square in the city of Cambridge. The first of these orange vehicles left Bennett Street yard (near Harvard Square)... Continue Reading →

April 10, 1848   The Illinois and Michigan (I&M) Canal was first opened to navigation when the freight boat General Fry traveled northwest along the recently completed route from the town of Lockport to the then-small city of Chicago. While the formal dedication of the I&M Canal would not take place until six days later, the... Continue Reading →

April 9, 1907 Civil engineer Harry Pond Townsend was granted U.S. Patent No. 850,077 for a coaster brake that he had created for bicycles. Townsend assigned the patent application to his employer, the New Departure Manufacturing Company of Bristol, Connecticut. (The company built its reputation on producing various types of bells, including bicycle bells, and those widely... Continue Reading →

April 8, 1978 The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter (USCGC) and icebreaking tug Katmai Bay was launched at the Tacoma Boatbuilding Company shipyard in the city of Tacoma on Washington State’s Puget Sound. The featured speaker at the launch was DeWitt J. Griffin, former president of the Navy League of the United States (a non-profit association... Continue Reading →

April 5, 1941 Nigel Gresley, a railway engineer who made major contributions to the development of high-powered steam locomotives, died at his home in Hertford, England, at the age of 64. He was born in 1876 in Scotland’s capital city of Edinburgh and raised in the English village and civil parish of Netherseal. After attending... Continue Reading →

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