October 4, 1928 The opening day of the First National Aeronautical Safety Conference took place at the Hotel Pennsylvania on Seventh Avenue in New York City. This conference was held under the auspices of the Daniel Guggenheim Fund for the Promotion of Aeronautics. This conference reflected efforts both within the United States and across the... Continue Reading →

Francisco D. Mercado, Jr., who served in the U.S. Army Air Forces (USAAF) during World War II, was born in East Los Angeles, California, in 1920. As a Hispanic American, he experienced one of his most egregious encounters with prejudice after graduating from high school in 1939. Having shown both a strong aptitude and interest... Continue Reading →

September 27, 1899 Aviation pioneer Dean Cullen Smith was born at his grandparents’ home in the city of Cove, Oregon. After graduating from high school in the Beaver State, he attended Principia College in St. Louis, Missouri, for two years.  The origins of Smith’s strong interest and involvement in flight activities can be traced to... Continue Reading →

September 23, 1942 An airport built for use by the U.S. Army Air Forces (USAAF) was opened in the vicinity of the city of Frederick, Oklahoma. This airport began operations nearly 10 months after the United States entered World War II on the side of the Allies. Originally called Frederick Army Airfield, it was also... Continue Reading →

July 26, 1946 The Hawaii-based Aloha Airlines made its debut. (At the time, Hawaii was a U.S. territory; it became the 50th state in 1959.)  Aloha Airlines was originally established as Trans-Pacific Airlines by Rudy F. Tongg, Sr., one of Hawaii’s wealthiest and most flamboyant businessmen, as a competitor to Hawaiian Airlines. Tongg envisioned a... Continue Reading →

January 15, 1970 William Thomas Piper, Sr., an aircraft manufacturer and businessman who left an indelible imprint on the aviation industry, died in Lock Haven, Pennsylvania, at the age of 89. During the course of his long career, Piper had become widely known as the “Henry Ford of aviation.” Piper was born in the New... Continue Reading →

December 4, 1991 On the same day that Pan American World Airways (Pan Am) officially came to an end and halted its longtime operations, that airline’s final flight took place. Captain Mark Pyle piloted the airplane Clipper Goodwill, a Pan Am Boeing 727-221ADV, for Flight 436 between the cities of Bridgetown, Barbados, and Miami, Florida. ... Continue Reading →

November 20, 1954 Clyde Cessna died in Wichita, Kansas, at the age of 74. By the time of his passing, he had left a large and longtime imprint on the transportation world as an aircraft designer and aviation entrepreneur. Cessna was born in 1879 in Hawthorne, Iowa. When he was only two years old, he... Continue Reading →

Ola Mildred Rexroat, who achieved fame as the only Native American to serve as one of the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) during World War II, was an enrolled member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe. She was born in Ogden, Kansas in 1917. Early on in her life, Rexroat moved with her family to South... Continue Reading →

November 5, 1893 Industrial designer Raymond Loewy was born in Paris, France. Loewy would spend most of his professional career in the United States, and his wide range of design efforts included many with a transportation theme of some kind. These efforts started at an early age. When he was only 15 years old, for example, Loewy... Continue Reading →

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