This Week In Business Travel History – 5 February 2012

By Jonathan Spira on 6 February 2012
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An important business trip took place in 1861: President-elect Lincoln boarded an east-bound train in Springfield, Illinois, visiting over 70 towns and cities before his inauguration in Washington, D.C.

In 1870, the predecessor of all in-flight movies was introduced.  Henry Runno Heyl used his Phasmatrope to project photographic motion pictures in a theater in Philadelphia.

In 1915, the first wireless message from a moving train to a station was sent.

In 1928, Bert Hinkler set off on the first solo flight from England to Australia.

In 1958, Ruth Carol Taylor made history as the first black stewardess. She worked a Mohawk Airlines flight from Ithaca to New York City.

Sometimes, one’s return home from a business trip can be delayed.  In 1962, captured American U-2 pilot Francis Gary Powers was traded for Rudolph Ivanovich Abel, a Soviet spy held in the United States, after being held 651 days in captivity

In 1964, Pan Am Yankee Clipper landed in New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport with the Beatles on board.  It was the Fab Four’s first visit and they were greeted by thousands of screaming fans at the airport.

In 1965, Eastern Air Lines Flight 663 crashed into the Atlantic Ocean near Jones Beach, killing 79 passengers and five crew aboard the Douglas DC-7.

In 1981, a fire at the Las Vegas Hilton resulted in eight deaths and roughly 200 injuries.  The fire was 90 days after the devastating MGM Grand fire, which killed 85 people.  Firefighters, using what they had learnt from the MGM fire, told guests to stay in their rooms, saving many lives.

Laker Airways, the first low-cost, no-frills airline, shut down in 1982.  Laker was founded this week in 1966.

Finally, in 1987, British Airways, the flag carrier of the United Kingdom, was privatized and its shares were floated on the London Stock Exchange.

(Photo: Eduard Marmet)

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