On Aug. 1, 1912, the U.S. Marine Corps’ first pilot, 1st Lt. Alfred A. Cunningham, went on his first solo flight as he took off in a Burgess/Curtis Hydroplane from Marblehead Harbor in Massachusetts.
On this date:
In 1714, Britain’s Queen Anne died at age 49; she was succeeded by George I.
In 1876, Colorado was admitted as the 38th state.
In 1894, the First Sino-Japanese War erupted.
In 1907, the U.S. Army Signal Corps established an aeronautical division, the forerunner of the U.S. Air Force.
In 1911, Harriet Quimby became the first woman to receive a U.S. pilot’s certificate from the Aero Club of America. (Quimby was killed in an accident in July 1912 at age 37.)
In 1936, the Summer Olympics opened in Berlin with a ceremony presided over by Adolf Hitler.
In 1944, an uprising broke out in Warsaw, Poland, against Nazi occupation; the revolt lasted two months before collapsing.
In 1946, President Harry S. Truman signed the Fulbright Program into law. The Atomic Energy Commission was established.
In 1957, the United States and Canada agreed to create the North American Air Defense Command (NORAD).
In 1966, Charles Joseph Whitman, 25, went on a shooting rampage at the University of Texas in Austin, killing 14 people. Whitman, who had also murdered his wife and mother hours earlier, was gunned down by police.
In 1971, the Concert for Bangladesh, organized by George Harrison and Ravi Shankar, took place at New York’s Madison Square Garden.
In 1981, the rock music video channel MTV made its debut.
Ten years ago: Two former WorldCom executives were arrested on charges of falsifying the books at the bankrupt long-distance company. (Scott Sullivan and David Myers admitted wrongdoing and received prison sentences.) Two teenage girls were abducted from their dates at a lovers’ lane outside Lancaster, Calif.; they were rescued 100 miles away after their kidnapper, Roy Ratliff, crashed his getaway car and was shot to death by sheriff’s deputies. The United States and a bloc of Southeast Asian nations signed a sweeping anti-terrorism treaty.
Five years ago: The eight-lane Interstate 35W bridge, a major Minneapolis artery, collapsed into the Mississippi River during evening rush hour, killing 13 people.
One year ago: The U.S. House of Representatives passed, 269-161, emergency legislation to avert the nation’s first-ever financial default; Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords returned to the House for the first time since being shot in January 2011 to cast a “yes” vote.