On 20 May 1932, five years after Charles Lindbergh made his famous solo nonstop flight from the U.S. to France, Amelia Earhart set out to be the first female aviator to accomplish the same feat. Unlike Lindbergh, Earhart was already well known before this flight. She gained fame in 1928 as part of a three person crew to be the first woman to cross the Atlantic in an airplane. On that trip, she kept the plane’s log.
Early on 20 May 1932, her Lockheed Vega 5B took off from Harbour Grace, Newfoundland. She intended to replicate Lindbergh’s flight but encountered strong northerly winds, mechanical problems, and icy conditions. Instead of landing in France, she landed in a pasture at Culmore(north of Derry)in Northern Ireland. When asked by a farmhand how far she had flown, she famously said “From America.” Her feat received international acclaim. She received the Distinguished Flying Cross in the U.S., Cross of Honor of the Legion of Honor from France, and the Gold Medal from the National Geographic Society. Her fame allowed her develop friendships with many important and influential people such as First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt.
Earhart would continue to make solo flights and set records. Sadly her next most famous mission would forever be shrouded in mystery. In 1937 she attempted–along with copilot Frederick Noonan–to fly around the world. On 2 Jul 1937, her plane disappeared near Howland Island in the South Pacific. Despite extensive searching by the U.S.Navy and Coast Guard, no trace of the plane or its pilots were ever found. The search was called off on 19 July. Earhart was declared legally dead on 5 Jul 1939 so that her estate could pay bills. Since then numerous theories as to what happened have been put forth. Many believe her plane either crashed and sank or that they landed on an island and perished awaiting rescue. Some intriquing evidence recovered in 2012 off Nikumaroro might be from their plane which supports the crash and sank hypothesis. More speculative theories have her being a spy for FDR or being captured and executed (along with Noonan)by the Japanese on Saipan (the area checked for the pilots bodies revealed nothing). A 1970 book claiming she had survived, moved to New Jersey, and changed her name to Irene Craigmile Bolam. There really was an Irene Bolam who had been a banker in New York in the 1940’s. She sued the publisher and obtained an out-of-court settlement. The book was taken off the market. National Geographic throughly debunked it in 2006 on Undiscovered History.
For over 10 years, Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition at Luxor Hotel and Casino has provided visitors with an in-depth look at RMS Titanic’s ill-fated journey across the Atlantic Ocean. This year, Titanic enthusiasts can honor National Maritime Day on May 22 at Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition, home to more than 400 artifacts including dramatic recreations of first and third-class cabins, a replica of the Grand Staircase and a 15-ton section of the Titanic’s starboard hull.
From the History files:
3 May 1906: Sayaji Rao, the Maharaja Gaekwar of Baroda, arrives in New York on Celtic II (Capt. Ranson) for a two-month visit to the United States, during which he will visit a number of large universities, the White House, Yellowstone Park and the Grand Canyon. Onlookers at the pier are reported to be disappointed by the fact that the Gaekwar, supposedly the second wealthiest prince in India, disembarks dressed in a frock coat and top hat, rather than his $30,000 bejeweled robe. Continued 27 July. (Sources: The New
York Times, 14 May and 28 July 1906; Ellis Island ship manifest.)
Way back when Johnny Carson was the king of late night television, he had a round of guest hosts who would fill in. One of them was Don Rickles. Rickles was guest hosting the show and was fooling around with the cigarette box on his desk (back then smoking on television was allowed). He ended up damaging it but put it back together. Then when Carson returned and opened his cigarette box, he discovers it was damaged. At the time Rickles had his own television show on the same network (CPO Sharkey). And here is what happened….
The Titanic is being brought back from the deep, more than a century after its ill-fated maiden voyage, at a landlocked Chinese theme park where tourists can soon splash out for a night on a full scale replica. It has taken six years — longer than the construction of the original Titanic — plus 23,000 tons of steel, more than a hundred workers and a hefty one billion yuan ($153.5 million) price tag. Everything from the dining room to the luxury cabins and even the door handles are styled on the original Titanic. It forms the centrepiece of a Sichuan province theme park more than 1,000 kilometres (620 miles) from the sea.
A new TV documentary about the famous Belfast-built ocean liner warns it may eventually disappear unless action is taken to preserve what is left of the tragic vessel. Experts have discovered that the ship’s remains are being destroyed by voracious metal-eating bacteria on the sea floor.
Mathilde, three of her siblings and their mother, Marie, were never seen again, but 105 years later a note apparently signed by Mathilde was found on a Canadian beach. “The bottle could be the first Titanic artifact found on the American coast,” said historian Maxime Gohier. Now scientists are probing the mysterious document, in a bid to prove whether it’s the real thing, or an elaborate hoax.
“In recruiting our expedition medical team, we prioritized identifying medical professionals accustomed to working in austere and unpredictable situations like those faced in expeditionary environments. This veteran team of emergency physicians brings a wealth of experience and expertise to our Mission Specialists and crewmembers,” says Stockton Rush, President, OceanGate Expeditions. “We will continue to follow strict COVID-19 protocols that we used throughout two Fall 2020 expeditions with zero resulting COVID-19 cases. In addition, the expedition vessel, Horizon Arctic, has a medical center for onboard care,” says Rush.
Here was an opportunity to bring attention to a story that had not yet been told. Here was a chance to show others the far-reaching effects of the Chinese Exclusion Act, an act that from 1882-1943, prohibited Chinese from coming to the United States. For that is the reason you have likely never heard about these men. Every Titanic survivor—705 in all—was allowed entry into the United States without question and given aid and medical relief. After all, all papers and money had been lost in the catastrophe. But not the Chinese. They were sent away within 24 hours of arriving in New York, simply on the basis of race.
But in the 1980s the United States was deep into a Cold War with the Soviet Union, and President Ronald Reagan enjoyed waging psychological warfare on the enemy. Ballard knew little would screw with the Russkies’ heads more than the American ability to find the lost passenger liner that sank in the Atlantic in 1912. Because he’d once been a Navy officer and then frequently worked with the Navy using his advanced under-water cameras, Ballard managed to get word of his Titanic idea all the way up the chain of command, where the White House heard and agreed. “Absolutely,” the Gipper said to Navy Secretary John Lehman during his first term. “Let’s do it!”
A team of researchers at the Université du Québec à Rimouski are working to determine if a letter that washed up on shore in Canada was actually written by Lefebvre more than a century ago. “I am throwing this bottle into the sea, in the middle of the Atlantic. We are due to arrive in New York in a few days,” the letter reads. “If someone finds it, contact the Lefebvre family in Liévin.” The message, which is signed “Mathilde Lefebvre,” was found by a New Brunswick family in the sands near the Bay of Fundy in 2017. “So far, we have not caught a smoking gun of a forgery,” said Nicolas Beaudry, a history and archeology professor at the Université du Québec à Rimouski, who is studying the letter.
(Note-this article was written by a law firm that specializes in maritime law.)
When a vessel owner seeks protection under the Limitation of Liability Act, they file a civil lawsuit in Federal District Court. All potential claimants (including anyone injured and surviving family members) are notified. They each receive certified letters informing them that the vessel owner is suing them. As a part of a Petition for Limitation of Liability, the vessel owner also claims that the craft was worth a certain amount of money. If the ship sank, the value could be zero. For the Titanic, the value was estimated at less than $100,000: $300 for the 14 remaining lifeboats and $92,000 for the ship’s earnings. Under the Limitation of Liability Act, the owners of the “unsinkable” ship sought to limit claims for damages to this value. For the families of the 1,517 people who were killed and the 711 survivors, this would have equaled just about $41 each.
Hidden secrets within a ‘lost’ cemetery tell the stories behind thousands of graves. Among the dead include war heroes, patients from five mental asylums, and a Titanic survivor. A dancer who later became the muse of Picasso and a Victorian actor also lie in plots from past decades. However, their extraordinary tales are at risk of being lost forever as a charity fights to stop the land from being developed on, writes The Mirror. It wants to ensure their stories remain so they can take their spot in history. The land was a burial ground between 1899 and 1955 but has been stood derelict long ago.
It was a day long anticipated for both Great Britain and the United States. After years of hard fighting on both land and sea, the war against Germany was at an end. 8 May 1945 all German troops in Europe laid down their arms and surrendered. In formerly occupied cities and throughout Britain and the United States, celebrations broke out. Flags and banners were hung, people gathered in the streets, many went to church to give thanks to God for this wonderful day to finally arrive. Nazi flags, banners, and reminders of their former occupiers were quickly taken down and destroyed. The hard work of rebuilding would begin soon and for many countries that had suffered under Nazi occupation, it would take time. Germany in many areas would have to be rebuilt from the bombardment that had destroyed many cities. American and German prisoners of war were released and sent back home.
German troops tried, if possible, to surrender to British or American forces. They believed they would be better treated and a better chance of living. The Soviets had a reputation for being particularly nasty to captured German officers and soldiers. In Salzburg, Austria the two oldest sons of Captain Georg von Trapp, later to be immortalized in The Sound of Music, found their home they left behind when the family fled Austria to Italy (their tale, to be recounted later, is a fascinating one). They learned their home had been occupied by none other than Heinrich Himmler, the leader of the hated SS and under whose leadership the Final Solution had been carried out. The Trapp family would later give their home to a religious order that lives there to this day.
The war would linger a day longer in the East. The Soviets continued to battle small pockets of resistance in Silesia until they surrendered. This marked the end of hostilities in Europe for the Russians, who consider 9 May 1945 their day to celebrate the defeat of Germany. Stalin announced the end on a radio broadcast: “Your courage has defeated the Nazis. The war is over.”