Monday, 7 May 2012

Hindenburg 75th anniversary gathers last witnesses to the airship


Hindenburg 75th anniversary gathers last witnesses to the airship

This year marked a particularly famous centenary of an historic transportation disaster - the sinking of the RMS Titanic - but it is also the anniversary of another well-known tragedy.  Seventy-five years ago yesterday, the airship LZ-129 Hindenburg exploded and crashed over Lakehurst, New Jersey, killing 36 people and effectively putting an end to the airship as a means of passenger travel.

The German airship Hindenburg was destroyed by fire in Lakehurst, NJ, 75 years ago

Just as with the Titanic, a memorial ceremony took place at Lakehurst but unlike the great ocean liner's demise there are still witnesses to the Hindenburg disaster alive to recollect the event and offer their own theories as to why the giant hydrogen-filled airship exploded (although we may never know the exact cause for certain). These memories provide a fascinating and oft-forgotten insight into that fateful day in history.



The Hindenburg should, however, be remembered not just for its fiery death - broadcast on newsreel around the world - but as a truly great wonder of the modern age.  Today's airships may have been relegated to observation and transport work for the military or short scenic flights and advertising, but they are by no means an extinct aircraft and one day in the not-so-distant future we may see their like gracing the skies more widely again.  In the meantime we look back and remember this colossus of the air and its untimely end in which 36 people lost their lives.

2 comments:

  1. Wow - I had not realised it was the 75th this year :(

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yes, this was truly a great invention...such amazing engineering!

    ReplyDelete

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