June 8, 1809 The steamboat Phoenix departed from New York City for Philadelphia. This voyage would earn the Phoenix a place in transportation history as the first steamboat to sail the open ocean. The Phoenix was built about two years earlier in Hoboken, New Jersey, by engineer and lawyer John Stevens (1749-1838) and his son... Continue Reading →

June 7, 1986 In northern Virginia, the opening of a 9.1-mile (14.7-kilometer) extension of the Washington Metro rapid transit system’s Orange Line was celebrated with great fanfare. The public debut of this extension marked the official completion of the Orange Line a little over seven-and-a-half years after the inauguration of its first segment. This line’s... Continue Reading →

June 6, 1933 The first open air drive-in movie theater opened on Crescent Boulevard in Camden, New Jersey. Richard M. Hollingshead (1899-1975), finding a new way to use the “horseless carriage,” worked out the details for that theater by experimenting with the setup in his own driveway. One major challenge involved the automobiles that would... Continue Reading →

June 5, 1935 The New York, New Haven & Hartford (NH) Railroad officially introduced its double-ended diesel electric passenger train Comet for service between Boston, Massachusetts, and Providence, Rhode Island. This streamliner -- a high-speed railway vehicle designed to provide reduced air resistance and also the precursor to a later era’s “bullet train” -- had... Continue Reading →

June 2, 2007 A late-morning dedication ceremony -- complete with a ribbon-cutting -- was held for a trail in the Aspetuck River Valley area of southwestern Connecticut. Those taking part in the festivities for this new trail included Gina McCarthy, commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection (now part of the Connecticut Department of... Continue Reading →

June 1, 1905 A year after construction on it had begun, a lighthouse on the eastern edge of Middle Island in Lake Huron officially went into service. (Middle Island is about 10 miles [16 kilometers] north of the city of Alpena in Michigan.) The first person to serve as keeper at Middle Island Light was... Continue Reading →

May 26, 1927 Automotive pioneer Henry Ford sent a telegram that went out under the name of his son Edsel to all 10,000 of the Ford automobile dealers. This telegram announced that, after 19 years of manufacturing the influential and popular Model T, the company would replace that model with an “entirely new Ford car.”  Along... Continue Reading →

May 25, 2008 A pontoon bridge in the Okanagan Valley of the Canadian province of British Columbia was opened to traffic. (A pontoon bridge has floats or shallow-draft boats to support a continuous deck.) This bridge crosses Okanagan Lake and serves as a link between the cities of Kelowna and West Kelowna. This structure replaced... Continue Reading →

May 22, 1899 A new and important word found its way into the transportation lexicon of the United States when Charles B. Shanks, a reporter with the Cleveland-based Plain Dealer newspaper, became the first known person in the country to use the French word “automobile.” This word made its official American debut in the first of... Continue Reading →

May 19, 1897 In southeastern New Hampshire, construction on the Exeter Street Railway -- an electric streetcar line that would link together the towns of Exeter and Hampton as well as the highly popular Hampton Beach resort -- officially began with a late-morning ceremony.  At around 10:30 a.m., Judge Charles M. Lamprey spoke to those... Continue Reading →

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