May-6 (Pt 2): Debuts and the Hindenburg

In addition to enactment of the Chinese Exclusion Act, May 6 is also noted for the debuts of the Eiffel Tower, the Works Progress Administration and the Channel Tunnel as well as the fiery crash of the Hindenburg.

1889

Eiffel Tower Opens to Public

The Eiffel Tower is officially opened to the public at the Universal Exposition in Paris. At 986 feet, it is the tallest structure in Paris and was the tallest structure in the world until the Chrysler Building opened in 1930.

1935

FDR Creates the WPA

President Roosevelt signs Executive Order 7034 creating the Works Progress Administration – the “largest and most ambitious” New Deal agency which employed millions of the unemployed in public works projects.  Between 1935 and 1943, when the agency was disbanded, the WPA employed 8.5 million people.

1937

Hindenburg Crashes in Flames

The German passenger airship Hindenburg caught fire and was destroyed during its attempt to dock with its mooring mast in Lakehurst, New Jersey killing 36 of the 97 people on board.   From Airships.net:

After more than 30 years of passenger travel on commercial zeppelins — in which tens of thousands of passengers flew over a million miles, on more than 2,000 flights, without a single injury — the era of the passenger airship came to an end in a few fiery minutes.

1994

Chunnel Opens Linking England to Continent

The Channel Tunnel (aka the “Chunnel”), a 31.4 mile rail tunnel linking Calais, France to Dover, England opened on this day. It has the longest undersea portion of any tunnel in the world and is the busiest rail link in the world.

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