Today in History: Lufthansa was (re)formed in 1954 

Today in History: Lufthansa was (re)formed in 1954 

Lufthansa originally formed back in 1926 as Deutsche Luft Hansa A.G. (the name Deutsche Lufthansa was used as of 1933). But with the defeat of Germany in World War II, the country lost sovereignty over its airspace and Lufthansa had to cease all operations. A new national airline was founded under the name of Luftag in 1953. Luftag acquired the name and logo of Deutsche Lufthansa on August 6, 1954 and was granted approval to launch domestic flights in April of 1955. International operations began in May of 1955 and thus the tradition of the German flag carrier continued.

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Today in History: Golden Gate Bridge opens in 1937

Today in History: Golden Gate Bridge opens in 1937

82 years ago today, on the opening day of the Golden Gate Bridge, some 200,000 pedestrians appeared to cross the bay between San Francisco and Marin County. A day later, the bridge opened to traffic. With a total length of 8,981 ft. (2,737 m), the Golden Gate Bridge remained the largest suspension bridge in the world until 1964. First ideas and drafts of the project started circulating at the end of the 19th century but no one thought the project financially and technically feasible. Today, the bridge is considered to be one of the Wonders of the Modern World. Frommers travel guide called it ” possibly the most beautiful, certainly the most photographed, bridge in the world.”

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Today in History: Earthquake destroys San Francisco in 1906

Today in History: Earthquake destroys San Francisco in 1906

About 3000 people died in the 1906 disaster. Over 80 percent of the city was destroyed by the quake and resulting fires.

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Today in History: Dong Kingman born in 1911

Today in History: Dong Kingman born in 1911

Happy Birthday, Dong Kingman. 108 years ago today, Chinese-American artist Dong Kingman was born in Oakland, California. Kingman was a leading watercolor painter of the California Style School. He was known for his urban and landscape paintings and his graphic design work for the Hollywood film industry. Kingman produced several posters for American Airlines during the late 1960s / early 1970s. His works are included in over 50 public and private collections worldwide, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the Brooklyn Museum, San Francisco’s deYoung Museum and the Art Institute in Chicago. Kingman died of cancer on May 11, 2000, in his New York City home. Source wikipedia.com.

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Today in History: The Eiffel Tower was completed in 1889

Today in History: The Eiffel Tower was completed in 1889

Happy Birthday, La Tour Eiffel, the global icon of Paris. 130 years ago today, the construction of the 324 m (1024 feet) Eiffel Tower was completed.

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Today is the first day of the Chinese New Year

Today is the first day of the Chinese New Year and 2019 is the Year of the Pig.

The Chinese New Year is full of dragon dances, fireworks, feasts, gift-giving, and lantern festivals. Red is the traditional color of the holiday because it symbolizes luck and prosperity. Many families will paint their doors a bright scarlet to bring good fortune in the year to come. According to tradition, each year of the Chinese calendar is associated with one of the twelve zodiac signs: rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog, or pig.

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Today in History: Southern Pacific completes “Sunset Route” in 1883

Today in History: Southern Pacific completes “Sunset Route” in 1883

136 years ago today, Southern Pacific Railroad completed its transcontinental “Sunset Route” from New Orleans to California, consolidating its dominance over rail traffic to the Pacific.

One of the most powerful railroad companies of the 19th century, the “Espee” (as the railroad was often called) originated in an ambitious plan conceived in 1870 by the “Big Four” western railroad barons: Collis P. Huntington, Charles Crocker, Leland Stanford, and Mark Hopkins. A year earlier, the Big Four’s western-based Central Pacific had linked up with the eastern-based Union Pacific in Utah, creating the first transcontinental American railway. With that finished, the “Big Four” began to look for ways to increase their control over West Coast shipping and decided to focus their efforts on extending the California-based Southern Pacific southward.

By 1877, the Southern Pacific controlled 85 percent of California’s railroad mileage. Huntington, who now dominated the company, saw an excellent opportunity to create a transcontinental line through the southern United States. Huntington had to act fast if was to beat the competition. The Texas and Pacific Railroad was already pushing westward toward the Pacific at a fast pace. Marshalling his awesome energy and financial resources, Huntington began driving his Southern Pacific line eastward. He won the race in 1881, when he linked the Southern Pacific to the Santa Fe Railroad at Deming, New Mexico, creating the second American transcontinental railway. Two years later, on February 5, 1883, Huntington gained full control of a number of smaller railroads, creating the Southern Pacific’s “Sunset Route” from New Orleans to California.

With the “Sunset Route,” Huntington confirmed his domination over California rails. He had taken considerable financial risks to build the Southern Pacific system, and he collected very considerable financial rewards. The Southern Pacific had a near monopoly over rail service to California, and Huntington and his associates took advantage of the situation by charging high shipping rates.

Termed “the Octopus” for its tentacled stranglehold on much of the California economy, the Southern Pacific inspired Californians to create some of the first strong public regulations over railroads in American history. But despite the anger and outrage Huntington’s exploitation inspired, few would deny that the mighty Southern Pacific Railroad played an essential role in fostering the growth of a vibrant California economy for decades to come.
Source: http://www.history.com.

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