Sunday, May 06, 2007

Seventy Years Ago Today

It was exactly seventy years ago today that the famous Hindenburg Disaster occurred. We have all probably seen the footage and heard the commentary, but as a reminder here it is again.



This disaster took place at Lakehurst, New Jersey, USA, on May 6, 1937 at around 7.30 in the evening. Thirty-six people were killed. A great deal of information about the ship and the incident can be found at http://www.hindenburg.net/, the home page of the Hindenburg Historical Society.

One of the things which made the impact of this disaster so great was that it was the first live news event that was broadcast on the radio from coast to coast. Indeed, Herbert Morrison's blow by blow account of the disaster is a classic bit of radio broadcasting.

One thing that is generally less well known about this event is that, to this day, nobody is really sure about what caused the disaster. There are many theories, but no firm conclusions.

What I find interesting though is the fact that although seventy years ago is a long time ago, it is also not really that long ago. There are many people alive today who were both alive and old enough to notice when the Hindenburg Disaster took place. That being said, the very familiarity of the footage also serves to make it appear to be long ago in the past.

It is certainly the case that the world has changed a great deal in the intervening seventy years. Back then, there were no national television networks and certainly no Internet. Indeed, the first computers were constructed just a few years after this event. Yet despite these massive changes, there are folks who lived during that era and are living today. This, I believe, provides a fascinating perspective on how the world changes over time. I wonder how the World will change in the next seventy years?

The CP

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