That dramatic large font displays often horrific or jubilant news on the front page of your local newspaper. This is fading away, replaced by alerts on your smartphone. I thought I would simply re-cap some of these historic highlights.
April 14, 1912 – RMS Titanic was a British passenger liner, operated by the White Star Line, which sank in the North Atlantic Ocean after striking an iceberg during her maiden voyage from Southampton, UK, to New York City, United States.
Of the estimated 2,224 passengers and crew aboard, more than 1,500 died, making it the deadliest sinking of a single ship up to that time. It remains the deadliest peacetime sinking of a superliner or cruise ship.
The disaster drew public attention, provided foundational material for the disaster film genre, and inspired many artistic works.
December 7, 1941 – The attack on Pearl Harbor was a surprise military strike by the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service upon the United States against the naval base at Pearl Harbor in Honolulu, Territory of Hawaii, just before 8:00 a.m., on Sunday, December 7, 1941.
The United States was a neutral country at the time; the attack led to its formal entry into World War II the next day. Japan intended the attack as a preventive action. Its aim was to prevent the United States Pacific Fleet from interfering with its planned military actions in Southeast Asia against overseas territories of the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and those of the United States.
The attack commenced at 7:48 a.m. Hawaiian Time. The base was attacked by 353 Imperial Japanese aircraft (including fighters, level, and dive bombers, and torpedo bombers) in two waves, launched from six aircraft carriers. Of the eight US Navy battleships present, all were damaged, with four sunk.
All but USS Arizona were later raised, and six were returned to service and went on to fight in the war. The Japanese also sank or damaged three cruisers, three destroyers, an anti-aircraft training ship, and one minelayer. More than 180 US aircraft were destroyed. 2,403 Americans were killed and 1,178 others were wounded.
Important base installations such as the power station, dry dock, shipyard, maintenance, and fuel and torpedo storage facilities, as well as the submarine piers and headquarters building (also home of the intelligence section) were not attacked. Japanese losses were light: 29 aircraft and five midget submarines were lost, and 64 servicemen were killed. Kazuo Sakamaki, the commanding officer of one of the submarines, was captured.
A date which will live in infamy……..As Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy, I have directed that all measures be taken for our defense. But always will our whole nation remember the character of the onslaught against us.President Franklin Roosevelt – in an address to the nation
No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people in their righteous might will win through to absolute victory.
I believe that I interpret the will of the Congress and of the people when I assert that we will not only defend ourselves to the uttermost, but will make it very certain that this form of treachery shall never again endanger us.
Hostilities exist. There is no blinking at the fact that our people, our territory, and our interests are in grave danger.
With confidence in our armed forces, with the unbounding determination of our people, we will gain the inevitable triumph—so help us God.
I ask that the Congress declare that since the unprovoked and dastardly attack by Japan on Sunday, December 7th, 1941, a state of war has existed between the United States and the Japanese empire.
December 8, 1941
May 25, 1961 – The Apollo 11 mission occurred eight years after President John F. Kennedy (1917-1963) announced a national goal of landing a man on the moon by the end of the 1960s. Apollo 17, the final manned moon mission, took place in 1972.
I believe this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to EarthPresident Kennedy (Speach to a special joint session of Congress on May 25, 1961)
At the time, the United States was still trailing the Soviet Union in space developments, and Cold War-era America welcomed Kennedy’s bold proposal. In 1966, after five years of work by an international team of scientists and engineers, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) conducted the first unmanned Apollo mission, testing the structural integrity of the proposed launch vehicle and spacecraft combination.
May 6, 1937 – The Hindenburg disaster was an airship accident that occurred in Manchester Township, New Jersey, United States. The German passenger airship LZ 129 Hindenburg caught fire and was destroyed during its attempt to dock with its mooring mast at Naval Air Station Lakehurst.
The accident caused 35 fatalities (13 passengers and 22 crewmen) from the 97 people on board (36 passengers and 61 crewmen), and an additional fatality on the ground. The disaster was the subject of newsreel coverage, photographs, and Herbert Morrison’s recorded radio eyewitness reports from the landing field, which were broadcast the next day.
A variety of hypotheses have been put forward for both the cause of ignition and the initial fuel for the ensuing fire. The publicity shattered public confidence in the giant, passenger-carrying rigid airship and marked the abrupt end of the airship era.