This Week In Business Travel History – 29 January 2012

By Jonathan Spira on 30 January 2012
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The always useful Oxford English Dictionary, now considered the world’s most complete and accurate dictionary of the English language,Mikhail Milfirst appeared in 1884 as A New English Dictionary on Historical Principles; Founded Mainly on the Materials Collected by The Philological Society. Its first section covered words from “A” to “Ant” and cost 12s.6d (the equivalent of $3.25 at the time).  Only 4,000 copies were sold. Today, millions of business travelers around the world rely on the online edition to find just the right word.

In 1935, Hugo Junkers, an aviation pioneer and pacifist who introduced revolutionary changes to aircraft design in 1915, died after losing control of his company and patents to the National Socialist regime in Germany.

In 1936, the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York elected its first members, Ty Cobb, Christy Matthewson , Walter Johnson, Babe Ruth, and Honus Wagner.

In 1942, Canadian Pacific Airways was formed when Arrow Airways and Canadian Airways merged.

In 1948, aviation pioneer Orville Wright died at the age of 76 after a second heart attack.  He was born in the horse-and-buggy era and lived to see the dawn of supersonic flight.  His brother Wilbur had died from typhoid fever in 1912 at the age of 46.

Mikhail Mil (pictured in a commemorative stamp), the Russian aerospace engineer responsible for numerous Soviet helicopters carrying his name, died in 1970 at age 60 in Moscow.

In 1981, Donald Douglas, who founded the Douglas Aircraft Company in 1921, died at the age of 88.  The company merged with McDonnell Aircraft in 1967 and that entity merged with rival Boeing in 1997.

Finally, in 2006, United Airlines emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.  In 2010, United merged with Continental Airlines to form United-Continental Holdings.   Continental had been in Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection twice, one in the 1980s and once in the 1990s.

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