March 2, 1863 A new railway bridge crossing the River Thames in London was officially opened. This 754.6-foot (230-meter)-long bridge connects the areas of Battersea and Fulham in England’s capital city. Now commonly known as the Battersea Railway Bridge, this structure had early on been named the Cremorne Bridge after public gardens that were once... Continue Reading →

February 8, 1912 The first plane flight in Greece took place when Emmanouil Argyropoulos piloted an aircraft over his native country. Argyropoulos, who had been born in 1889, was originally a civil engineer. He set aside that career, however, after developing a strong interest in human flight. Argyropoulos pursued this newfound interest by going to Paris,... Continue Reading →

February 5, 1880 Aircraft and automobile manufacturer Gabriel Voisin was born in the commune of Belleville-sur-Saône in eastern France. Voisin developed a strong enthusiasm for the potential of airborne transportation at a young age, and was especially inspired by the work and words of aviation pioneers Clément Ader and Ferdinand Feber.  Voisin’s aviation career began in earnest... Continue Reading →

February 1, 1956 The survey vessel MV Havengore made her maiden voyage in London, England, on the River Thames. This vessel owes her name to Havengore Island, a low-lying marshy island off the coast of southeastern England. The origin of the name “Havengore” can be traced to a combination of the Old English words “haefen”... Continue Reading →

January 25, 1998 In France, a new railway station was opened for service in the commune of Saint-Denis in the northern suburbs of Paris. This station, which is known as La Plaine-Stade de France, had been designed by architect Jean-Marie Duthilleul. The station is a link within the Réseau Express Régional (RER), a hybrid commuter... Continue Reading →

January 7, 1785 The first-ever flight over the English Channel took place when French inventor and aviation pioneer Jean-Pierre Blanchard and American physician and scientist Dr. John Jeffries (at the time a British resident) traveled over that body of water in a gas balloon. The travel equipment on board the balloon included silk-covered oars for the... Continue Reading →

December 29, 1959 The first metro system in Portugal was inaugurated in the country’s capital city of Lisbon. Américo Tomás, who served as Portugal’s president from 1958 to 1974, officiated at the dedication ceremony for the initial 3.1-mile (5-kilometer) segment of this pioneering rapid transit service. At six o’clock the next morning, the Lisbon Metro... Continue Reading →

December 21, 1804 The Rochdale Canal in northern England was officially opened. The plans for this canal had been prepared by civil engineer John Rennie, with the Rochdale Canal Company established in 1794 to coordinate the construction of the new waterway. While Rennie developed the designs for the Rochdale Canal, it has been widely acknowledged... Continue Reading →

December 18, 1898 French aristocrat Count Gaston de Chasseloup-Laubat set the first official land speed record for an automobile. The 32-year-old Chasseloup-Laubat established this record of 39.3 miles (63.3 kilometers) while driving a Jeantaud Duc electric car at a competition that was sponsored by the magazine Le France Automobile and held in the commune of... Continue Reading →

December 11, 1997 Britannia, a vessel that had served as the royal yacht of British monarch Queen Elizabeth II for more than four decades, was decommissioned in a ceremony at the Portsmouth naval base on England’s south coast.  Along with highlighting Britannia’s “brass fittings gleaming in the winter sunshine and flags rippling in a brisk... Continue Reading →

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