Great Moments in Travel History – May 2018

A Copa Airlines aircraft in Star Alliance livery

By Jesse Sokolow on 1 May 2018
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“Tra la, it’s May, the lusty Month of May,” as the song from “Camelot” goes. May, the fifth month in both the Julian and Gregorian calendars is typically the epitome of spring in the Northern Hemisphere and of autumn in the Southern. May Day, typically celebrated on May 1, is an ancient Northern Hemisphere spring festival that celebrates the season. It is also a public holiday in many countries, in most cases referred to as Labour Day or International Workers’ Day, and intended to commemorate the1886 Haymarket riot in Chicago.

On May 16, 1863, the Excelsior Hotel Ernst opened its doors in Cologne, Germany, directly across from the Cologne Cathedral or Kölner Dom. A regular guest for several decades in the latter part of the 20th century was FBT Editorial Director Jonathan Spira’s father, S. F. Spira, the founder and CEO of Spiratone. The hotel celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2013.

Harriet Quimby, the first woman to receive a pilot’s license (on August 2, 1911) in the United States, was born on May 1, 1875.

The Chicago World’s Fair opened on May 1, 1893. The fair transformed the landscape of the city and introduced the now ubiquitous Ferris Wheel to the world.

The Palace Hotel Luzern in Luzerne, Switzerland, opened its doors on May 7, 1906. The hotel, which featured amenities rare at the time of its opening, such as en-suite bathrooms, is still in operation today.

Wilbur Wright died from typhoid fever at age 45 on May 30, 1912. His brother Orville lived to be 76, passing away on January 30, 1948.

The Regent Palace Hotel opened on May 16, 1915 in London, England. With 1,028 guestrooms, the hotel offered the largest number of rooms of any such establishment in Europe at the time of its opening. It was demolished in 2010.

On May 9, 1917, William Boeing changed the name of Pacific Aero Products to the Boeing Airplane Co.

Bader Field in Atlantic City, New Jersey, became the first municipal airport in the U.S. on May 3, 1918.

Mills Field Municipal Airport opened on May 7, 1927. It became San Francisco International Airport in 1931.

Click here to continue to Page 2The First Solo Transatlantic Flight and The First Female Flight Attendant 

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