August 22, 1882 French aviation pioneer Raymonde de Laroche was born in Paris. While originally known as Élise Raymonde Deroche, she adopted Raymonde de Laroche as her name by the time she turned 20 and had begun an acting career. She enjoyed playing sports as a child, but as a young adult, she acquired an... Continue Reading →

August 14, 1893 With the passage of the Paris Police Ordinance, France became the first country to introduce motor vehicle registration. "Each motor vehicle shall bear on a metal plate and in legible writing the name and address of its owner, also the distinctive number used in the application for authorization,” read this ordinance.  “This plate... 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 →

November 29, 1882 Aviation pioneer Henri Fabre was born in the French city of Marseille. Fabre’s advanced knowledge of science early on in life helped foster his powerful interest in human flight. With unmatched intensity, he studied and developed designs for planes and propellers. The result of Fabre’s efforts was his creation of the first... Continue Reading →

October 18, 1909 The aristocrat known as Charles, Count de Lambert became the first person to fly over the French capital city of Paris in a plane. He quickly gained worldwide attention for this achievement. “Great Record in Air,” proclaimed a headline in the next day’s edition of the New York-based Buffalo Express. De Lambert,... Continue Reading →

June 28, 1939 Ushering in a new age of scheduled transatlantic passenger airplane service, the Dixie Clipper “flying boat” made its first run along Pan Am Airways’ newly established route between New York and Marseilles, France, via the South Atlantic Ocean. This long-range aircraft was one of several produced by the Boeing Airplane Company between... Continue Reading →

Aviation pioneer Harriet Quimby became the first woman to fly across the English Channel. The Michigan-born pilot departed Dover, England, for Calais, France, in a monoplane that she had never flown before and with a compass she had just recently learned to use. Quimby, despite those challenges as well as thick fog that limited visibility... Continue Reading →

The salvage tugboat Abeille Bourbon was launched at the city of Brest on the western edge of France. Abeille Bourbon is owned by Les Abeilles International, a unit of the shipping company Groupe Bourbon, and was chartered to the French Navy for use as a deep-sea emergency tow vessel. The yacht-like Abeille Bourbon was designed... Continue Reading →

French civil engineer Alexandre Gustave Eiffel, who achieved international renown for creating the landmark tower bearing his name but also carved out a substantive legacy in transportation, died in Paris at the age of 91. He was listening to Beethoven’s 5th Symphony at the time. “Although Eiffel was known to America principally for the tower... Continue Reading →

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