1. 1994: The historic Chunnel is opened
The famous rail tunnel that connects England France is opened on this day back in 1994. It is considered one of the modern wonders of the world, considering that 28 miles of the track runs almost 150 feet underneath the English Channel. It consists of three tunnels that run the entire 31 miles to connect the two countries. One for northbound traffic, one for southbound traffic, and then the third is used as a service tunnel for repairs and in the event of an emergency. Total cost for the “Chunnel” was said to be a whopping $16 billion, but apparently as of 1999 they have actually started to turn a profit. Each day there are as many as 30,000 people, 7,000 cars and 4,000 trucks that pass through, and each one has to pay in some way to gain access to the passenger, freight and shuttle trains going back and fourth.
2. 1915: Babe Ruth hits his first Major League home run
On this day back in 1915 while wearing a Red Sox uniform, Babe Ruth pitched a full 12 1/3 innings against the Yankees. It also happens to be the game that Ruth hit his first home run in a major league game. Ruth was only in his second year in the Majors when he started his illustrious tally of home runs. While he was initially brought in as a pitcher, he wanted to play in every game versus the rotating games that a pitcher will do. He would still occasionally pitch, but what Ruth became know for was hitting home runs. Batting left-handed, he would go on to set the single season home run record in 1919 in his last year wearing a Red Sox uniform before being sold to the Yankees the following year.
3. 1937: The Hindenburg explodes as its attempts to land in New Jersey
One of the most iconic photos in the world is the Hindenburg dirigible ( blimp like aircraft) bursting into flames as it attempts to land in Lakehurst, New Jersey. The Hindenburg was the largest craft of its kind measuring aver 800 feet long, and was also considered the most luxurious way to travel at the time. It had made numerous ocean crossing flights the previous year but many felt it was risky since the core was filled with incredibly volatile hydrogen gas versus the safer alternative, helium. But due to the hydrogen making the German aircraft faster and more maneuverable, they opted to go with fast and agile versus safe. On this day in 1937 as the Hindenburg attempts to dock, the pilot allegedly was going too fast, which required them to engage the Mercedes engine in full reverse and that caused a spark. Now the absolute last thing you want when you are flying more than 200 feet above ground in an 800 ft. long balloon filled with one oft he most flammable elements on the planet, is a spark. That caused the back end to instantly go up in flames and that started a chain reaction that made the entire ship burst into a giant fireball that was so large the heat could be felt as much as a mile away by the thousands of onlookers that had shown up for the landing of the massive craft. The death toll was said to be 36, with many more severely burned.