Rex Marion Whitton, who became a leading U.S. highway official, was born in 1898, in Jackson County, Missouri. He graduated from the University of Missouri in 1920 with a bachelor’s degree in engineering. Whitton then began what became his 40-year career with the Missouri State Highway Department. (In 1980, the Missouri State Highway Department was... Continue Reading →

July 17, 1879 The earliest public railway to exist in the present-day state of Hawaii began operations on the island of Maui. The first train to run along that narrow-gauge track was pulled along by a locomotive named after Queen Emma, who had been queen consort of what was then the Kingdom of Hawaii. This new... Continue Reading →

May 21, 1927 Charles A. Lindbergh, flying his plane "The Spirit of St. Louis," arrived at Le Bourget Field near Paris, France, 33-and-a-half hours after he departed from Roosevelt Airfield in Garden City, New York. That long journey made the pilot widely known as "The Lone Eagle" the first person to complete a solo non-stop,... Continue Reading →

May 12, 1926 The Italian-built airship Norge successfully completed the first verified flight over the North Pole. This aircraft was also the first to fly over the ice cap between Europe and North America. Polar explorer Roald Amundsen of Norway was the leader of this airborne expedition. The other members of the expedition included Italian aviator... Continue Reading →

March 25, 2019 Joseph L. Perkins, who served as commissioner of the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (DOT&PF) from 1995 to 2002, died at his home in Edmond, Oklahoma, at the age of 80. (He and his wife Laurie had moved from Alaska to Oklahoma in 2015.) Perkins was born in 1938 in... Continue Reading →

March 3, 1970 With the inauguration of a new terminal and other recently completed infrastructure, the airport in the town and municipality of San Bartolomé on Lanzarote – the northernmost and easternmost of the seven Canary Islands – was opened to a significantly higher-than-before number of civilian domestic and international flights. This increase in regular... Continue Reading →

February 19, 1917 Oregon Governor James Withycombe signed into law a measure that included provisions for reorganizing the state’s highway commission, in a major milestone for strengthening transportation infrastructure in the Beaver State and making that network more reflective of the public will. These provisions in the wide-ranging Oregon Highway Law specifically required that the... Continue Reading →

About two years after the Civil War ended, a milestone in the continuing civil rights struggles of African-Americans took place in Philadelphia, and it involved the city’s transportation network. On March 25, 1867, schoolteacher Caroline LeCount (1846-1923) attempted -- as she had on previous occasions -- to board one of Philadelphia’s horse-drawn streetcars traditionally not... Continue Reading →

December 19, 1918 Construction began on a lighthouse within the region of Tierra del Fuego that is part of Argentina. Les Eclaireurs Lighthouse was specifically built on an islet in the Beagle Channel as a navigational aid for vessels sailing to and from Ushuaia, which is one of the world’s southernmost cities. The islet where... Continue Reading →

October 29, 1987 A new trolleybus system was inaugurated in Mongolia’s capital city of Ulaanbaatar (also known as Ulan Bator). These trolleybuses have become a heavily used part of the city’s overall transit network, which also includes regular bus lines and a hodge-podge of privately owned passenger vans that are collectively called “microbuses.” The sometimes... Continue Reading →

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