June 26, 1860 The first public railway in present-day South Africa made its official debut. The Natal Railway formally began operations at 11:00 a.m. in the seaport town (now city) of Durban amid a great deal of fanfare and with the inaugural run of the steam locomotive Natal. (Durban was part of the British colony... Continue Reading →

June 25, 1954 In southeastern Australia, the final section of the Walhalla railway line in the Gippsland region of the state of Victoria was closed. This shutdown took place just over 44 years after the Walhalla railway -- one of a few narrow gauge lines of the Victorian Railways (the operator of most of the... Continue Reading →

June 24, 1918 Canada joined a small but ever-growing number of nations in a new method of postal delivery when that nation’s first official airmail service took place. At 10:12 a.m., Captain Brian Peck of the Royal Flying Corps departed for Toronto from the Bois Franc Polo Grounds near Montreal in a JN-Curtiss two-seater biplane... Continue Reading →

June 21, 1889 Transportation entrepreneur Harry Alphonse FitzJohn, who played an innovative role in the production of bus and truck bodies, was born in Toledo, Ohio. In 1905, FitzJohn began working for the U.S. Department of Agriculture as a messenger for its Weather Bureau. He stayed in that job until 1907, when he moved to... Continue Reading →

June 20, 1895 The Kaiser-Wilhelm-Kanal, which has been known as the Kiel Canal since 1948, was officially opened in what was then the German Empire (now part of the Federal Republic of Germany). This 61-mile (98-kilometer)-long canal, located at the base of Northern Europe’s Jutland Peninsula in the present-day German state of Schleswig-Holstein, connects the... Continue Reading →

June 19, 1971 Garfield “Gar” Arthur Wood, a champion motorboat racer who also achieved fame for various transportation-oriented innovations, died at the age of 90 in Miami, Florida. Wood was born in Mapleton, Iowa, in 1880. He and his family subsequently moved to Minnesota and young Gar Wood developed a lifelong love for boats along... Continue Reading →

June 18, 1945 On South Carolina’s Atlantic coast, a new swing bridge linking Mount Pleasant (the largest town in the Palmetto State) with Sullivan’s Island (both an island and a town) was opened to traffic. The Ben Sawyer Bridge was officially dedicated a couple of days later. While construction plans for this bridge took shape... Continue Reading →

June 17, 1999 (Photo caption: Coast Guard Chief Warrant Officer 4 Michael Popelars, commanding officer of Cutter Frank Drew, pilots the buoy tender on the James River in Newport News, Virginia, Feb. 22, 2018. Courtesy of the Defense Information Visual Distribution Service - https://www.dvidshub.net/image/4176717/coast-guard-cutter-frank-drew-crew-services-buoys-elizabeth-james-rivers-va) U.S Coast Guard Cutter (USCGC) Frank Drew was officially transferred from... Continue Reading →

June 14, 1906 Let’s just say that it wasn’t your typical workday in Washington, D.C. . . . Daredevil aviation pioneer Lincoln Beachey left a lasting impression on many as he steered his airship above and even alongside various landmark buildings in the nation’s capital. The next day’s edition of the Washington Post called this trip through the... Continue Reading →

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