The Holland Tunnel – Innovation at Work


Today in History, November 21, 1927:

Time magazine places the recently opened Holland Tunnel between New York City and Jersey City on its cover. On its first day nearly 52,000 vehicles used the tunnel. Running a tunnel beneath the Hudson River, or any river, would have been suicidal before engineer Holland designed a ventilation system that took up four ten story towers, two on each end of the tunnel. Fresh air is pumped through vents at the bottom of the roadway while the air is drawn out simultaneously through vents in the ceiling. All of the air in the tunnel is changed every 90 seconds.

Woolaroc Lands in Hawaii

Today in History, August 16, 1927:

“The Dole Air Race” ends in tragedy and glory. Depending on who you were.

James Drummond Dole, heir to the Dole Pineapple industry that had been initiated in the 19th century, sponsored an air race to prove that air travel could be made between the mainland and Honolulu. He had been inspired by Charles Lindbergh’s transatlantic flight. Whoever reached Honolulu first would win $25,000.

Several entrants would drop out before the flight even began, but of the eight that left the mainland, six would be lost without a trace.

Two Army Air Corps Lieutenant’s had already made the flight successfully…but since they landed at Wheeler Field rather than Honolulu, they were disqualified.

Two Travel Air 5000 monoplanes were sponsored by Oklahoma Oilman Frank Phillips…the “Oklahoma” and the “Woolaroc.” The Oklahoma had to turn back….but the Woolaroc, piloted by Arthur C. Goebel and William V. Davis, Jr. took the prize, being the first to arrive in Honolulu.

Once again, Oklahoma wins. You can visit the “Woolaroc”, at Woolaroc near Bartlesville.

Gunboat Diplomacy

Today in History, March 24: 1927 – Gunboat Diplomacy. Chinese nationalists and communists had been struggling for control of the country. When the fight reached Nanking (Nanjing), the nationalist forces left the city. The communist soldiers that entered the city raided the consulates of western nations there; British and American citizens were injured and some killed. All of the western nations that had commercial interests in China had a Naval presence in the region. In response to the assaults, the Royal Navy and the United States Navy vessels on the Yangtze fired on the soldiers and civilians sacking the western sections of the city, driving them away. Marines evacuated the western civilians to ships that were then escorted out of the area. In the process, the escorting ships, mostly the USS William B. Preston, had to suppress fire from the shore several times. The Nationalist forces eventually took back the city. By the next year the government had apologized for the incident and the communist forces agreed to pay reparations.