Great Moments in Travel History – August 2020

By Jesse Sokolow on 1 August 2020
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August, a holiday month for a good part of the world, is the eighth month of the year in both the Juliana and Gregorian calendars. It is named after Augustus, a Roman statesman who was the first emperor of the Roman Empire. The month was originally named Sextilis because it was the sixth month of the ten-month Roman calendar. The current name was chosen by Augustus because several of his greatest triumphs including the conquest of Egypt took place in this month.

August is tied with July for the hottest month of the year, and is the time many Europeans, some Americans, and almost all psychiatrists go on holiday, although the August climate in the Southern Hemisphere is the equivalent of February in the northern. Paris is typically cited as being a ghost town as restaurants, bakers, cheese, and fruit shops among others are typically closed for much of the month.

Here’s what happened in Augusts past.

On August 4, 1908, Wilbur Wright made the first flight ever using stick controls. The flight lasted for a minute and 45 seconds.

Harriet Quimby became, on August 2, 1911, the first woman in the United States to be licensed as a qualified pilot.

The International Air Traffic Association was formed on August 28, 1919, in The Hague, Netherlands. The organization was the predecessor to the International Air Transport Association, which today represents over 240 airlines that make up approximately 84% of all airlines’ passenger carrying capacity.

On August 20, 1935, Boeing test pilot Les Tower flew the Model 299 aircraft nonstop from Seattle, Washington, to Dayton, Ohio, and established an unofficial record of flying 2,100 miles (3,379 kilometers).

On August 13, 1940, a major airplane crash occurred near Canberra, Australia. All ten people aboard the RAAF Lockheed Hudson bomber perished in the crash, including three members of the Australian Cabinet and the Chief of the General Staff.

The last of the famous Douglas Skymasters to be built, DC-4 number 1,242, was delivered by Douglas Aircraft to South African Airways on August 11, 1947.

Pan American World Airways took delivery of the country’s first commercial jet airliner, a Boeing 707-120, on August 15, 1958, four months ahead of schedule. Clipper America, as the aircraft was nicknamed, entered service in October of that year on a flight, with 111 passengers on board, from New York’s Idlewild airport (currently JFK International) to Le Bourget in Paris, France, with a refueling stop in Gander, Newfoundland. The 707 remained in production through 1979 and is credited with having ushered in the jet age.

The Douglas DC-10, the first jumbo jet from Douglas, made its first flight on August 29, 1970, and officially entered into service (with launch customer American Airlines) on August 5, 1971. The tri-jet wide-body aircraft carried up to 380 passengers.

Northeast Airlines merged with Delta Air Lines on August 1, 1972. The former first began operations in 1934.

Click here to continue to Page 2Grand Hotel Collapses, Plane Crashes into Mount Takamagahara

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