Great Moments in Travel History – June 2013
On June 2, 1910, Charles Rolls (of Rolls Royce fame) made the first successful non-stop return flight over the English Channel. The flight lasted 95 minutes.
The Hotel Utah opened its doors in downtown Salt Lake City on June 9, 1911. The hotel remained open for 76 years, receiving notable guests such as William Howard Taft, Woodrow Wilson, and Warren G. Harding.
William Boeing took Bluebill, a single-engine seaplane and the first B & W aircraft, on its maiden flight on June 15, 1916. B & W stood for Boeing and his partner, Navy Lieutenant Conrad Westervelt.
The first nonstop flight from the continental U.S. to Hawaii took off on June 28, 1927. The flight took 25 hours and thirty minutes.
On June 30, 1927, Boeing Air Transport, predecessor to United Airlines, was founded to operate mail routes for the post office.
Captain Frank Hawks broke the west-to-east transcontinental speed record on June 2, 1933, flying from Los Angeles to Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn in 13 hours, 26 minutes, and 15 seconds, in a Northrop Gamma 2A aircraft.
The Air Mail Act of 1934, which included a provision for the appointment of a federal aviation commission, was signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on June 12. The bill came into law as consequence of a congressional investigation that the press dubbed the “Air Mail Fiasco,” an alleged scandal involving the Postmaster General and airline executives.
Fifty-eight people perished on June 5, 1946, when fire swept through Chicago’s historic LaSalle Hotel. An additional 200 people suffered injuries from smoke inhalation. When the hotel opened in 1909, it had advertised itself as being the “largest, safest and most modern hotel west of New York City.”
On June 19, 1946, a fire broke out at the Canfield Hotel in Dubuque, Iowa. Nineteen people died in the blaze.
A new helicopter speed record was set by test pilot Basil Arkell on June 28, 1948, when he flew a Fairey FB-1 Gyrodyne at 124 mph (205 kph).
United Airlines merged with Capital Airlines on June 1, 1961, becoming the world’s second largest airline after Aeroflot, and displacing American Airlines from that position.
On June 26, 1963, Hilton Hotels’ founder and world-famous hotelier Conrad Hilton officiated over the ribbon-cutting ceremony at the New York Hilton Midtown, believed to be the largest hotel in Manhattan. Today, the building itself is the world’s 101st tallest hotel.
On June 3, 1965, during the four-day Gemini 4 mission, astronaut Ed White became the first American to walk in space.
The Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel opened in Los Angeles on June 1, 1966. The hotel has seen famous guests such as Josip Broz Tito (Yugoslavian revolutionary and statesman), Moshe Dayan (Israeli Chief of Staff), Prince Phillip (husband of Queen Elizabeth II), and David Ben-Gurion (first Prime Minister of Israel).
The Washington Plaza Hotel opened on June 29, 1969. Still open today, the hotel was the first luxury hotel to open in downtown Seattle since 1929, and was called one of Seattle’s seven wonders, along with Woodland Park Zoo, the Monorail, Pike Place Market, and the Space Needle.
The Hilton Shanghai opened its doors on June 28, 1988. The 714-room propery was the first hotel from an international chain to open in China. It has hosted numerous members of royalty and heads of state since then, in addition to many business travelers.
The Boeing 777 established a new speed record on June 11, 1995, on a flight from Seattle to the Paris Air Show at Le Bourget, in 9 hours 2 minutes.
The Boeing 767 Freighter made its first flight on June 21, 1995. The aircraft can carry approximately 58 tons of cargo.
On June 26, 1995, Boeing’s board of directors authorized production of the 777-300. The aircraft is the world’s largest long-range twin-engine commercial airliner.
The Boeing 737-800 was unveiled outside the Renton, Washington assembly plant on June 30, 1997. The aircraft is a stretch version of the 737-700, and replaced the 737-400.
On June 20, 2011, 47 passengers perished when a RusLine Tupolev Tu-134 aircraft crashed while attempting to land in western Russia.
The Hoshinoya Okinawa opened on Taketomi Island in Japan on June 1, 2012. Part of a national park, the island is isolated from other parts of Japan.
(Photo: Accura Media Group)