August 9, 1790 The Columbia Rediviva became the first ship to carry the flag of the United States around the world. This privately owned ship, widely known as just Columbia, left Boston on September 30, 1787, under the command of John Kendrick. Lady Washington, another vessel leaving Boston at the same time, was commanded by Robert Gray. ... Continue Reading →

August 3, 1921 The one-time German ship SS George Washington embarked on her first voyage as an American ocean liner. This reconditioned ship left Hoboken, New Jersey, just before two o’clock in the afternoon for European destinations that included Plymouth, England; Cherbourg, France; and Bremen, Germany. That transatlantic trip took place a little over two-and-a-half years after... Continue Reading →

June 28, 1911 The world’s first documented charter plane flight came about as the result of some mischief. Washington Atlee Burpee, the founder and head of a large seed-and-planting company, was in New York aboard the British ocean liner RMS Olympic. This ship was set to travel on the Hudson River and ultimately across the... Continue Reading →

June 9, 1930 A three-masted staysail auxiliary schooner that had been built for Robert C. Roebling was launched in Bath, Maine. A Georgia resident, Roebling came from a family with a notable background in transportation. He was a great-grandson of John A. Roebling, the renowned civil engineer best known for designing the Brooklyn Bridge; and... Continue Reading →

June 2, 1851 The clipper ship Flying Cloud, making her maiden voyage, departed from New York City at 2:00 p.m. Under the command of Captain Josiah Perkins Creesy, the vessel went on to establish a new sailing record for the fastest passage between that city and San Francisco.  After leaving New York City, Flying Cloud... Continue Reading →

April 22, 1921 The ocean liner RMS Arundel Castle, under the command of Captain T.J. Bremner, departed the city of Southampton in southern England for her maiden voyage. This vessel, which had been built for the Union-Castle Mail Steamship Company Limited (Union Castle Line), made her way to Cape Town, South Africa, on that inaugural... Continue Reading →

April 13, 1898 The steamship SS Superior City was launched in the yards of her manufacturer Cleveland Ship Building Company (later renamed the American Ship Building Company) at Lorain, Ohio, specifically on the section of Lake Erie that is at the mouth of the Black River. This launch took place at two o’clock that Wednesday afternoon. The... Continue Reading →

February 4, 1902 The first flights over Antarctica took place as part of a British exploration of that region of the world. The British National Antarctic Expedition, which was led by Royal Navy Captain Robert F. Scott, had departed from England in the wooden ship RRS Discovery in August 1901.  The ship crossed the Antarctic... Continue Reading →

January 29, 1943 Just over a year after the United States entered World War II on the side of the Allies, one of the many ships built for service in that global conflict was commissioned into the U.S. Navy. This new vessel was an LST (formally classified as a Landing Ship, Tank). The ship had... Continue Reading →

October 29, 1932 The ocean liner SS Normandie was launched into the River Loire at Saint-Nazaire, France. At least 40,000 people – including French President Albert Lebrun and his wife Marguerite – were on hand for the event. Madame Lebrun was selected to christen the ship, and she performed the duty with the world’s largest bottle of champagne.  As... Continue Reading →

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