Browsing: Travel

A Brief History On September 17, 1961, downtown Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania was the site of the first retractable roof arena in the world, although its purpose may surprise you! Digging Deeper The Civic Arena was built mainly as the home of the Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera, although it moved into the sporting world in a big way in 1967 when it became the home of the Pittsburgh Penguins NHL hockey team, until 2010, when it finally closed. Of course, the 17,000 seat arena also hosted many other sporting events, professional and amateur, including basketball, wrestling, boxing, soccer, figure skating, gymnastics, and…

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A Brief History On September 16, 1979, eight people yearning to be free of oppressive communism in East Germany made a flight to freedom in a hot air balloon to West Germany. Digging Deeper Amazingly, the escapees had been plotting their flight for over 18 months and had failed in a previous attempt.  Lucky for them the authorities were unable to identify the would-be aeronauts.  The successful balloon was the third balloon constructed by the determined Germans. Germany had been separated into Soviet and other Allied zones after the end of World War II in Europe, with East Germany dominated…

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A Brief History On September 12, 1992, NASA launched mission STS-47, an historic flight of Space Shuttle Endeavour. Digging Deeper Among the notable facts about this particular flight, is that this mission marked the 50th space shuttle flight.  Another first, was the first African American woman in space, Mae Carol Jemison.  Mamoru Mohri became the first ever Japanese astronaut aboard a US spacecraft, and the first married couple to be together in space when Mark Lee and Jan Davis made the space flight as crew members. Endeavor made a total of 25 successful space flights from 1992 until retirement in…

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A Brief History On September 9, 1972, an exploration team mapping the Mammoth Cave system in Kentucky discovered that the Mammoth Cave system was linked to the Flint Ridge cave network, making it the longest cave passageway in the world. Digging Deeper Upon the discovery by the Cave Research Foundation team, the entire cave system is now known as the Mammoth–Flint Ridge Cave System.  In fact, the Flint Ridge portion is even longer than the part previously just called Mammoth Cave. A 52,830-acre National Park since 1941, the caves boast over 426 miles of surveyed passages, one and a half…

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A Brief History On September 5, 1980, the Gotthard Road Tunnel from Uri Canton to Airolo in Switzerland opened for travel, at the time the longest highway tunnel in the world at 10.5 miles long.  Today, we look at some other real and fictional tunnels: Digging Deeper The Channel Tunnel, or, “Chunnel,” connecting France and England with an under the sea section of 23.5 of its 31 mile length. The Time Tunnel, a TV show from 1966 to 1967, featuring two lost time travelers going from one historical adventure to another. The Delaware Aqueduct, the longest tunnel in the world,…

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