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1882 – Jesse James is killed by Robert Ford

3 April

Jesse Woodson James (5 September 1847 – 3 April 1882) was an American outlaw, guerilla, gang leader, bank robber, train robber, and murderer from the state of Missouri and the most famous member of the James-Younger Gang. Jesse and his brother Frank James were Confederate guerrillas or Bushwhackers during the Civil War. They were accused of participating in atrocities committed against Union soldiers, including the Centralia Massacre. After the war, as members of various gangs of outlaws, they robbed banks, stagecoaches, and trains. The James brothers were most active as members of their own gang from about 1866 until 1876, when as a result of their attempted robbery of a bank in Northfield, Minnesota, several members of the gang were captured or killed. They continued in crime for several years, recruiting new members, but were under increasing pressure from law enforcement. Continue reading “1882 – Jesse James is killed by Robert Ford”

1939 – The Heinkel He 100 fighter sets a world airspeed record of 463 mph (745km/h)

30 March

The Heinkel He 100 was a German pre-World War II fighter aircraft design from Heinkel. Although it proved to be one of the fastest fighter aircraft in the world at the time of its development, the design was not ordered into series production. Approximately 19 prototypes and pre-production examples were built. None are known to have survived the war. Continue reading “1939 – The Heinkel He 100 fighter sets a world airspeed record of 463 mph (745km/h)”

1911 – The M1911 .45 ACP pistol becomes the official U.S. Army side arm

29 March

The M1911 is a single-action, semi-automatic, magazine-fed, recoil-operated pistol chambered for the .45 ACP cartridge. It served as the standard-issue sidearm for the United States Armed Forces from 1911 to 1986. Continue reading “1911 – The M1911 .45 ACP pistol becomes the official U.S. Army side arm”

1922 – The USS Langley is commissioned

20 March

USS Langley (CV-1/AV-3) was the United States Navy’s first aircraft carrier, converted in 1920 from the collier USS Jupiter (AC-3), and also the U.S. Navy’s first turbo-electric-powered ship. Continue reading “1922 – The USS Langley is commissioned”

1947 – First flight of the B-45 Tornado strategic bomber

17 March

The North American B-45 Tornado was the United States Air Force’s (USAF) first operational jet bomber, and the first multi-jet engined bomber in the world to be refuelled in mid-air. The B-45 was an important part of the United States’s nuclear deterrent for several years in the early 1950s, but was soon superseded by the Boeing B-47 Stratojet. B-45s and RB-45s served in the United States Air Force’s Strategic Air Command from 1950 until 1959. It was also the first jet bomber of the NATO Alliance, which was formed in 1949. Continue reading “1947 – First flight of the B-45 Tornado strategic bomber”

1942 – The first V-2 rocket test launch

16 March

The V-2 (Vergeltungswaffe 2, “Retribution Weapon 2”), technical name Aggregat-4 (A-4), was the world’s first long-range guided ballistic missile. The missile with a liquid-propellant rocket engine was developed during the Second World War in Germany as a “vengeance weapon,” designed to attack Allied cities as retaliation for the Allied bombings against German cities. The V-2 rocket also became the first artificial object to cross the boundary of space with the vertical launch of V-177 on 20 June 1944. Continue reading “1942 – The first V-2 rocket test launch”

1916 – USS Nevada (BB-36) is commissioned into the US Navy

11 March

USS Nevada (BB-36), the second United States Navy ship to be named after the 36th state, was the lead ship of the two Nevada-class battleships; her sister ship was Oklahoma. Launched in 1914, the Nevada was a leap forward in dreadnought technology; four of her new features would be included on almost every subsequent US battleship: triple gun turrets, oil in place of coal for fuel, geared steam turbines for greater range, and the “all or nothing” armour principle. These features made Nevada the first US Navy “super-dreadnought”. Continue reading “1916 – USS Nevada (BB-36) is commissioned into the US Navy”

1997 – The North Hollywood shootout takes place

28 February

The North Hollywood shootout, sometimes also called the Battle of North Hollywood, was an armed confrontation between two heavily armed and armoured bank robbers and members of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) in the North Hollywood district of Los Angeles on this day in 1997. Both perpetrators were killed, eleven police officers and seven civilians were injured, and numerous vehicles and other property were damaged or destroyed by the approximately 1,750 rounds of ammunition fired by the robbers and police. Continue reading “1997 – The North Hollywood shootout takes place”

1939 – First flight of the Lockheed P-38 Lightning

27 January

The Lockheed P-38 Lightning was a World War II American propeller driven fighter aircraft. Developed to a United States Army Air Corps requirement, the P-38 had distinctive twin booms and a single, central nacelle containing the cockpit and armament. The P-38 was used in a number of roles, including interception, dive bombing, level bombing, ground-attack, night fighting, photo reconnaissance, radar and visual pathfinding for bombers, and evacuation missions, and extensively as a long-range escort fighter when equipped with drop tanks under its wings. Continue reading “1939 – First flight of the Lockheed P-38 Lightning”

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