January 27, 1989 Aviation pioneer Thomas Sopwith died at his mansion near the city of Winchester in southern England. He was 101. “The Genius of Flight is Dead,” announced a headline in the London-based Evening Standard.  Sopwith was born on January 18, 1888, in the Royal Borough of Kensington (now part of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea) in... Continue Reading →

January 10, 1912 In Australia, the first test was performed on a new tram line built in the port city of Geelong in the state of Victoria. There had been proposals to build such a transit service in Geelong as far back as 1888, and construction on the city’s tram system by the Melbourne Electric... Continue Reading →

January 3, 1942 Just a little less than a month after the United States entered World War II on the side of the Allies, a yacht was acquired by the U.S. Navy from William F. Ladd for use in that global conflict. (Ladd had been adjutant general of Connecticut between 1930 and 1939 and would... Continue Reading →

December 28, 1894 In the town of Cromer on England’s eastern coast, an 18-year-old local resident named Henry Blogg first saw action at sea as a member of the crew of RNLB (Royal National Lifeboat) Benjamin Bond Cabbell II. Blogg had actually joined that crew nearly a year earlier, but it was that holiday-season mission... Continue Reading →

December 19, 1946 In the South Pacific, an airfield on the island of Viti Levu in what was then the British colony of Fiji was handed over by the U.S. military to civilian control under the auspices of the New Zealand government. (New Zealand had likewise been a British colony until gaining semi-independent status as... Continue Reading →

December 15, 1874 In southern California’s Los Angeles area, Point Fermin Light on the west side of the entrance to San Pedro Bay had its inaugural lighting. This structure had been designed by architect and civil engineer Paul J. Pelz, who was serving the U.S. Lighthouse Board at the time as its chief draftsman.  Point Fermin... Continue Reading →

December 8, 1930 The diesel-powered vessel Aras was launched by her manufacturer Bath Iron Works at the Maine-based company’s location on the Kennebec River. Measuring 243 feet and nine inches (74 meters) in length, this luxury yacht had been built for paper and wood products magnate Hugh J. Chisholm. His wife Sara (“Aras” is her... Continue Reading →

During World War II, Nellie Locust played a groundbreaking role as one of several Native American women from Oklahoma to serve in the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) Women’s Reserve. USCG Women’s Reserve, also known as the SPARS (the acronym for “Semper Paratus – Always Ready”), was established in 1942 as the women’s branch of the... Continue Reading →

October 26, 1972 Uffa Fox, a renowned boat designer and sailing expert, died in London at the age of 74. He had been born on January 15, 1898, on England’s Isle of Wight. Fox is widely credited with popularizing modern-day dinghy sailing and making several major contributions to that small-boat activity.  One of these contributions was Fox’s... Continue Reading →

José Antonio Muñiz, an aviator whose U.S. military career included service in Southeast Asia during World War II, was born on October 16, 1919, in the city and municipality of Ponce on Puerto Rico’s southern coast. He was a student at elementary and secondary schools in Ponce. Muñiz then enrolled at the Ponce-based Colegio Ponceño... Continue Reading →

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