Browsing: Travel

A Brief History On September 25, 2014, O’Hare Airport in Chicago regained its status as the World’s Busiest Airport, taking the title back from Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson Airport.  Or not, depending on which source you cite.  The Atlanta airport had been the busiest in the world for all of the 21st Century up until either 2014 or up to the present.  The United States once had many of the busiest airports in the world, and some of the most modern and highest tech airplane launching sites but have slipped in recent years as other countries have built modern, higher technology airfields…

A Brief History On September 22, 1995, a United States Air Force Boeing E-3B Sentry (AWACS, early warning spy in the sky type aircraft) flew into a flock of birds immediately after taking off from Elmendorf Air Force Base in Alaska, putting 2 of the 4 jet engines out of commission and causing a crash of the big plane, killing all 24 crewmen aboard.  Developed from the Boeing 707 jetliner, the E-3 is a large airplane, but not so large it could not be downed by birds.  Birds pose a danger to airplanes of all sizes and types and can…

A Brief History On August 15, 1914, the Panama Canal was opened for traffic, with the SS Ancon making the first transit of the great canal. Constructed from 1904 to 1914 by the United States, a previous French attempt at building the canal from 1881 to 1894 failed miserably, with thousands of workers killed by disease and venomous snakes, a rate of fatalities that reached 200 per month. Despite an asking price of $100 million dollars, the US was able to purchase the rights to the canal project for only $40 million. Completion of the canal became a great source…

A Brief History On August 7, 1679, a small ship named Le Griffon (The Griffon) that had been built under the direction of famous explorer of the New World René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle, was towed to a point on the Niagara River from which it became the first European sailing vessel worthy of the designation “ship” to ever sail the Great Lakes.  As the Great Lakes Region Native Americans did not build sailing vessels, Le Griffon was by default the first ship of any origin to sail the Upper Great Lakes.  European explorers had brought sail technology to…

A Brief History On August 5, 1620, 2 small English sailing ships left Southampton Water in England on a trip to the New World, carrying a group of Puritans seeking a land where they could practice their brand of religion without interference. The larger of the 2 ships, the Mayflower, has gone down in history as one of the most famous ships in the English speaking world, while the other, the Speedwell, became an historical afterthought. On July 22, 1620, the pinnace Speedwell left Delfshaven, now part of Rotterdam in the Netherlands, with a cargo of English Pilgrims bound for…

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