Today in History: Bay Bridge opens in 1936

Today in History: Bay Bridge opens in 1936

The San Francisco – Oakland Bay Bridge, known locally as the Bay Bridge, is a complex of bridges spanning San Francisco Bay in California. As part of Interstate 80 and the direct road between San Francisco and Oakland, it carries about 260,000 vehicles a day on its two decks and has one of the longest spans in the United States. The toll bridge was conceived as early as the gold rush days, but construction did not begin until 1933. Designed by Charles H. Purcell, and built by American Bridge Company, it opened on November 12, 1936, six months before the Golden Gate Bridge. It originally carried automobile traffic on its upper deck, and trucks and interurban streetcars on the lower, but after the Key System abandoned rail service, the lower deck was converted to all-road traffic as well. Source: wikipedia.org

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Today in History: Mt. Rushmore completed in 1941

Today in History: Mt. Rushmore completed in 1941

78 years ago today, Mount Rushmore National Memorial in South Dakota, USA was completed after 14 years.

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Today in History: Delta Air Lines merges with Northwest in 2008

Today in History: Delta Air Lines merges with Northwest in 2008

The merger resulted in creating the world’s largest airline (at the time). The merged entity took on the name of Delta Airlines, and the Northwest Airlines brand name was retired.

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Today in History: KLM formed in 1919

Today in History: KLM formed in 1919

The official airline of the Netherlands, Koninklijke Luchtvaart Maatschappij N.V. or KLM, is the oldest airline that still operates under its original name. The first flight of the airline took place on May 17, 1920 between London and Amsterdam in a leased airplane.

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Today in History: Air France formed in 1933

Today in History: Air France formed in 1933

The French airline was formed 86 years ago today and this is always a great reason to show another example of Air France’s wonderful poster art, incl. this beautiful work from 1947.

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Today in History: First Flight around the World in 1924

Today in History: First Flight around the World in 1924

95 years ago today, the first flight around the world was completed by the Americans Lowell H. Smith and Erik H. Nelson: after 176 days (starting on April 6) they had covered some 25,180 miles (42,398 km) in 57 stages and landed where they initially took off, in Seattle, Washington. Before the two Americans, five other nations had attempted the circumnavigation of the globe but none of them completed their journeys. Originally, 4 American airplanes departed Seattle but only two of them completed the entire trip. In preparation for flight, The U.S. Navy helped deliver spare engines and thousands of gallons of fuel to various places around the world. The crews arrived back in the United States in early September and then made several stops in larger cities before returning to Seattle.

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History: Concorde slashes Atlantic flight time in 1973

History: Concorde slashes Atlantic flight time in  1973

On this day, the Concorde made its first non-stop crossing of the Atlantic in record-breaking time. The French model of the supersonic airliner flew from the US capital, Washington, to Orly airport in Paris in three hours 32 minutes.

Concorde began commercial flights in January 1976 with London-Bahrain and Paris-Rio services. Regular flights to the US did not start for another three years as American aviation authorities were not willing to allow the plane to land at their airports. Concorde had an almost unblemished safety record until 25 July 2000, when an Air France model built in 1975 crashed shortly after taking off from Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris. All 109 people on board were killed and there were also four fatalities on the ground. All Concordes were grounded while a full investigation took place and flights did not resume until November 2001. In April 2003 British Airways and Air France announced the plane would be retired due to falling passenger revenue and rising maintenance costs. Concorde’s final commercial flight was on 23 October 2003.

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