May 6, 1937 Hindenburg

Today in History

The airship Hindenburg left Frankfurt airfield on her last flight at 7:16pm, May 3, 1937, carrying 97 passengers and crew. Crossing over Cologne, Beachy Head and Newfoundland, the largest dirigible ever constructed arrived over Boston at noon on May 6.  By 3:00pm she was over the skyscrapers of Manhattan, headed for the Naval Air Station in Lakehurst, New Jersey.

Foul weather caused a half-day’s delay but the landing was eventually cleared, the final S turn approach executed toward the landing tower, at 7:21pm. Within moments, the ship arrived at the mooring mast. She was 180-feet above the ground with forward landing ropes deployed when the first flames appeared near the top tail fin.

Hindenburg

Eyewitness accounts differ as to where the fire, came from. The leading theory is that, with the metal frameworkgrounded through the landing line, the ship’s fabric covering became charged in the electrically charged atmosphere, sending a spark…

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France, 1940, in Detail

laststandonzombieisland

The French Musée de l’Armée just went live with a really well done online exposition, “Comme en 40…” detailing the effort by the Republic in the early days of WWII. While the Phony War transitioned to what is still a controversial six-week campaign that knocked France out of the conflict, at least for a while, it is often soft balled among English-speaking historians as a German walkover.

Which is not entirely correct.

No matter your opinion, check out the collection. It has lots of stuff you likely have never seen before– especially if you are a fan of French colonial uniforms– and adds a serious layer to the understanding of the 1940 campaign in France, at least from the view of the French Army.

The ashes of the banner of the 86e Régiment d’Infanterie (86e RI) of the France Army, with honors dating back to Lodi in 1796, burned in…

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May 5, 1945 Changing Sides

Today in History

According to the CDC, cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States second only, to heart disease. The #3 leading cancer afflicts the lungs, and bronchi.

In 1878 a scant 1 percent of all malignant tumors occurred in the lungs. Mass production and mass marketing of cigarettes, changed all that. By 1918, that number had increased to one in ten.

The American Cancer Society first published studies confirming the link between lung cancer and smoking nearly a decade after World War 2. British epidemiologist Sir Richard Doll was knighted in 1971 for similar research but the earliest such work, occurred in Nazi Germany.

German physician Fritz Lickint first wrote in 1929 of the connection between smoking, and lung cancer. Ten years later German scientist Franz Müller presented the first epidemiological study linking tobacco use, and cancer.

When Nazis came to power, the new government would tolerate…

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