#TDIH – February 22

1879 – In Utica, New York, Frank Woolworth opens the first of many of 5 and dime Woolworth stores.

1909 – The sixteen battleships of the Great White Fleet, led by USS Connecticut, return to the United States after a voyage around the world.

1959 – Lee Petty wins the first Daytona 500.

1975 – First flight of the Sukhoi Su-25, a Soviet single-seat, twin-engine jet aircraft designed to provide close air support.

1980 – Miracle on Ice: In Lake Placid, New York, the United States hockey team defeats the Soviet Union hockey team 4–3.

1987 – First flight of the Airbus A320


1987 – Andy Warhol, American painter and photographer dies.  (b. 1928)

1993 – First flight of the McDonnell Douglas MD-90

National Margarita Day

#TDIH – February 21

1804 – The first self-propelling steam locomotive makes its outing at the Pen-y-Darren Ironworks in Wales.

1848 – Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels publish The Communist Manifesto.

1878 – The first telephone book is issued in New Haven, Connecticut.

1918 – The last Carolina Parakeet dies in captivity at the Cincinnati Zoo.

1945 – First flight of the Hawker Sea Fury.

Hawker Sea Fury

1948 – NASCAR is incorporated.

1958 – The peace symbol, commissioned by Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament in protest against the Atomic Weapons Research Establishment, is designed and completed by Gerald Holtom.

1965 – Malcolm X is assassinated at the Audubon Ballroom in New York City by members of the Nation of Islam.

1974 – Tim Horton, Canadian ice hockey player dies in a car crash.(b. 1930)

1975 – Watergate scandal: Former United States Attorney General John N. Mitchell and former White House aides H. R. Haldeman and John Ehrlichman are sentenced to prison.

1995 – Steve Fossett lands in Leader, Saskatchewan, Canada becoming the first person to make a solo flight across the Pacific Ocean in a balloon.

National Sticky Bun Day


#TDIH – February 20

Happy Birthday to Clément Gosselin  and Mark Williams

1472 – Orkney and Shetland are pawned by Norway to Scotland in lieu of a dowry for Margaret of Denmark.

1816 – Rossini’s opera The Barber of Seville premieres at the Teatro Argentina in Rome.

1877 – Tchaikovsky’s ballet Swan Lake receives its première performance at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow.

1902 – Ansel Adams, American photographer is born. (d. 1984)

1942 – Lieutenant Edward O’Hare becomes America’s first World War II flying ace.

1959 – The Avro Arrow program to design and manufacture supersonic jet fighters in Canada is cancelled by the Diefenbaker government amid much political debate.

1971 – The United States Emergency Broadcast System is accidentally activated in an erroneous national alert. Bet that left a mark in a lot of underwear

2003 – During a Great White concert in West Warwick, Rhode Island, a pyrotechnics display sets the Station nightclub ablaze, killing 100 and injuring over 200 others.

2005 – Hunter S. Thompson, American journalist and author dies.  (b. 1937)

National Handcuff Day



#TDIH – February 19

1674 – England and the Netherlands sign the Treaty of Westminster, ending the Third Anglo-Dutch War. A provision of the agreement transfers the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam to England, and it is renamed New York.

1847 – The first group of rescuers reaches the Donner Party.

1878 – Thomas Edison patents the phonograph.

1942 – World War II: Nearly 250 Japanese warplanes attack the northern Australian city of Darwin killing 243 people.

1945 – US Marines invade Iwo Jima

1959 – Last flight of Arrow 201 and the end of the Arrow Program which was officially cancelled the next day.


1976 – Executive Order 9066, which led to the relocation of Japanese Americans to internment camps, is rescinded by President Gerald R. Ford’s Proclamation 4417

1982 – First flight of the Boeing 757

1988 – First flight of the Boeing 737-400

2010 – Tiger Woods apologizes publicly for extramarital affairs

Chinese New Year

#TDIH – February 18

Happy Birthday to Joseph Ahmad and Mike Kestle

1564 – Michelangelo, Italian sculptor and painter  dies (b. 1475)

1861 – In Montgomery, Alabama, Jefferson Davis is inaugurated as the provisional President of the Confederate States of America

1885 – The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain is published in the United States.

1913 – Pedro Lascuráin becomes President of Mexico for 45 minutes; this is the shortest term to date of any person as president of any country.

1920 – Formation of a Canadian Air Force was authorized by Order-in-Council as a non-professional, non-permanent force under the Air Board.

1930 – While studying photographs taken in January, Clyde Tombaugh discovers Pluto.

1954 – The first Church of Scientology is established in Los Angeles, California.

1964 – Joseph-Armand Bombardier, Canadian inventor and businessman, founded Bombardier Inc. dies (b. 1907)

1977 – First flight of Space Shuttle Enterprise atop a Boeing 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft (SCA) to measure structural loads and ground handling and braking characteristics of the mated system.

1979 – Snow falls in the Sahara Desert in southern Algeria for the only time in recorded history.

2001 – Seven-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Dale Earnhardt dies in an accident during the Daytona 500.

Ash Wednesday

National Drink Wine  Day



#TDIH – February 17

Happy Birthday to Todd Dussault, Gary Miller and Stephen Bluck

1621 – Myles Standish is appointed as first commander of Plymouth colony.

1863 – A group of citizens of Geneva founded an International Committee for Relief to the Wounded, which later became known as the International Committee of the Red Cross.

1904 – Madama Butterfly receives its première at La Scala in Milan.

1909 – Geronimo, American tribal leader dies. (b. 1829)

1932 – Mounties enlisted World War I air ace/bush pilot [[Wop May]] to help them track Rat River Yukon – Albert Johnson, ‘the Mad Trapper of Rat River,’ killed by RCMP in shoot-out after 48-day 240 km manhunt in 40 below weather; charged with killing one Mountie, Constable Edgar Millen and wounding two others.

1933 – The Blaine Act ends Prohibition in the United States. Cheers!

1959 – Project Vanguard: Vanguard 2 – The first weather satellite is launched to measure cloud-cover distribution.

1972 – Sales of the Volkswagen Beetle exceed those of the Ford Model-T.

1981 – Paris Hilton, American model, actress, and singer is born.  Model? Actress? Singer?

Fat Tuesday

National Champion Crab Racing Day


#TDIH – February 16

Happy Birthday to my old friend Lyle Crump and Craig Fuller

1852 – Studebaker Brothers wagon company, precursor of the automobile manufacturer, is established.
1881 – The Canadian Pacific Railway is incorporated by Act of Parliament at Ottawa (44th Vic., c.1). A large part of it is currently on strike,
1903 – Traian Vuia presented to the Académie des Sciences of Paris the possibility of flying with a heavier-than-air mechanical machine and his procedure for taking off, but it was rejected for being an utopia, adding the comments: “The problem of flight with a machine which weighs more than air cannot be solved and it is only a dream.”
1923 – Howard Carter unseals the burial chamber of Pharaoh Tutankhamun.  Many years later Steve Martin does a very funny tribute.
1956 – B-47 51-2059 (later RCAF X059) arrived at Cartierville where Canadair would modify it to test the Orenda Iroquois engine for the Avro Arrow.

1959 – Fidel Castro becomes Premier of Cuba after dictator Fulgencio Batista was overthrown on January 1.

1968 – In Haleyville, Alabama, the first 9-1-1 emergency telephone system goes into service.
1978 – The first computer bulletin board system is created (CBBS in Chicago, Illinois).
2006 – The last Mobile Army Surgical Hospital (MASH) is decommissioned by the United States Army.
National Almond Day

December 29, 1939 First Flight – Consolidated B-24 Liberator


b-24The Consolidated B-24 Liberator was an American heavy bomber, designed by Consolidated Aircraft of San Diego, California.  While the B-17 is often thought of as the most prolific US bomber, the Liberator holds the record with more than 18,000 produced.  That number includes those built under license by the Ford Motor Company in Willow Run Michigan.

The aircraft pictured is “Diamond Lil”, a B-24A flown by the Commemorative Air Force (B-24/B-29 Squadron) in Addison, Texas.  Lil was the 18th Liberator built.

Retirement Training

B-LJF_747-867FWith less than a week to go before my official retirement I’ve started looking at how I’ll fill my days until the air show season starts in the Spring.  I love plane spotting and I’ve run across a few places where kind spotters post advance warning of special aircraft coming and going through Toronto Pearson International Airport.

Today I took an hour to catch this gorgeous Cathay Pacific Cargo Boeing 747-8 lifting off on a long run to Anchorage Alaska.

While waiting there was time to also get a few shots of a Hainan Airlines Boeing 787-8.

B-2730_787-8And a Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300ER

B-KQS_777-367ERI will certainly be spending more time along the fences.


September 24, 1949 – First Flight North American T-28 Trojan


Trojan Horsemen at Oshkosh 2014

On September 24, 1949 the North American T-28 “Trojan” made its first flight.

Nearly 2000 Trojans were built between 1950 and 1957 and were used by the United States Air Force and United States Navy. Besides its use as a trainer, the T-28 was successfully employed as a Counter-insurgency (COIN) aircraft, primarily during the Vietnam War.

Many Trojans still fly today like the aircraft seen above flown by the Trojan Horsemen team at Oshkosh.

T-28 at 2014 Waterloo Air Show

The high undercarriage and throaty growl from the Wright R-1300 or R-1820 radial engine make them impossible to miss at air shows all over the world.