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 →

May 29, 1933 Daniel O’Leary, a world champion pedestrian athlete, died in Los Angeles at the age of 91. “O’Leary’s heels were his fame while the rest of the world took to wheels,” stated an Associated Press account the following day. “Many of the marks he set for long distance walking still stand as a challenge... Continue Reading →

May 24, 1862 The second and current version of Westminster Bridge in London was opened. This structure, spanning the River Thames, replaced the original bridge that had made its debut in the mid-18th century and was closed in 1846 (and subsequently demolished) due to deterioration. The opening of the new road-and-foot-traffic bridge took place on the... Continue Reading →

May 17, 1920 Royal Dutch Airlines, or KLM (Koninklijke Luchtvaart Maatschappij N.V.), began service with a flight between Croydon Airport in London, England, and Amsterdam Airport Schiphol in the Netherlands. This airline, like several others in major European countries, came into existence within the first few years after the end of World War I. Royal... Continue Reading →

May 6, 1994 The Channel Tunnel, running beneath the English Channel at the Strait of Dover and linking the port town of Folkestone in southeastern England with the commune of Coquelles in northern France, was officially opened. (“England and France, Now a Train Trip,” proclaimed a headline in the New York Times.) The 31.35-mile (50.45-kilometer)-long tunnel,... Continue Reading →

April 19, 1884 The first funicular railway serving Portugal’s capital city of Lisbon made its official debut. This railway, which is best known as the Elevador do Lavra, was built to carry people up and down a steep incline called Calçada do Lavra. This section of Lisbon currently straddles the border of Santo António and... 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 →

March 28, 1918 A milestone in the short but eventful U.S. Navy service of the vessel USS Aphrodite took place when she was assigned to convoy escort duty with a higher-than-average risk along the French coast during World War I. Aphrodite had made her debut a couple of decades earlier in decidedly more luxurious circumstances.... Continue Reading →

March 14, 1908 Motorcycle designer and manufacturer Philip Vincent was born in London, England. It was during his time as a student at Harrow School, a London-based boarding school for boys, that Vincent was introduced to motorcycles. His interest in this means of mobility steadily grew. He bought his first motorcycle, which was a second-hand... Continue Reading →

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