November 8, 1881 Aviation pioneer and spaceflight theorist Robert Esnault-Pelterie was born in Paris, France. With a strong background in engineering, he made major contributions to the origins of heavier-than-air flight in Europe during the first decade of the 20th century. In 1903, Esnault-Pelterie invented the aileron -- a movable airfoil that could be installed at the... Continue Reading →

October 29, 1983 Nearly a half-century after its debut, the streamlined electric locomotive known as the GG1was retired from active service once and for all. The GG1 era formally ended when New Jersey Transit (NJ Transit) – the last operator of that class of locomotives – ran a series of farewell trips between the borough... 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 →

August 12, 1882 Vincent Hugo Bendix, an inventor who became a pioneer in both the automotive and aviation industries, was born in Moline, Illinois. His first major effort in the transportation world involved establishing the short-lived Bendix Company of Chicago in 1907 and creating an automobile called the Bendix Buggy.  In 1910, he invented the Bendix... Continue Reading →

August 11, 1950 The Fairchild XC-120 Packplane, one of the more unconventional types of aircraft created in the United States in the post-World War II era, first took to the skies. The XC-120 was built for the U.S. Air Force by the aircraft and aerospace manufacturer Fairchild, and that transport plane made its maiden flight... Continue Reading →

July 23, 1903 The Ford Motor Company – just a little over a month after being incorporated -- delivered its first-ever automobile to be purchased to Dr. Ernst Pfenning, a dentist in Chicago. Pfenning paid $850 for a Ford Model A with a backseat. The Model A, which became the forerunner of the many types... Continue Reading →

July 20, 1894 Errett Lobban Cord, industrialist and trend-setting automobile manufacturer, was born in the city of Warrensburg, Missouri. Cord, knowing a profitable thing when he saw it, immersed himself in the ever-burgeoning world of automobile development and did much to help that mode of transportation come of age. The Auburn, Cord, and Duesenberg automobiles... Continue Reading →

July 19, 1961 Trans World Airlines (TWA) introduced regularly scheduled in-flight movies during a transcontinental trip of a Boeing 707 between New York City and Los Angeles. The first movie to be shown as part of that new service was By Love Possessed, a drama starring Lana Turner and Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. The screening of the movie... Continue Reading →

June 24, 1995 USCGC Juniper (WLB-201), the lead ship of the U.S. Coast Guard’s seagoing buoy tenders, was launched. This vessel, weighing 2,000 tons (1,814.4 metric tons) and measuring 225 feet (69 meters) in length, had the distinction of being outfitted with some of the most advanced technological and navigational capabilities available at that time. These capabilities include skimming... Continue Reading →

May 27, 1972 The U.S. International Transportation Exposition -- best known as Transpo ‘72 -- was formally opened at Dulles International Airport in northern Virginia (26 miles [41.8 kilometers] west of Washington, D.C.). U.S. Transportation Secretary John A. Volpe presided over the opening of that extensive nine-day trade show. “Flying trains, square dancing helicopters and the... Continue Reading →

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