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This Week in Universal News: A Hovercraft Crosses the English Channel, 1959

On July 25, 1909, Louis Bleriot became the first man to fly over the English Channel. In 1959, the flight was commemorated with the first crossing by hovercraft. Taking a hovercraft between England and France was a reality for commercial passengers between 1968 and 2000, when a commercial hovercraft service offered transportation across the English Channel. […]

Looking to the Future: Space Culture on Film

The launch of Sputnik and the space race led to an era of optimism which influenced pop-culture in America and overseas. We imagined where we might live, the clothes we might wear and the cars we might drive. Words and phrases such as astro and space age entered our vocabulary as a way to describe […]

This Week in Universal News: The First Parking Meter, 1935

The world’s first parking meter was installed in Oklahoma City on July 16th, 1935. Today, advanced parking meters allow a driver to pay by mobile phone, but the first parking meters required a nickel to operate. This story from Universal News demonstrates the novelty of the new invention. From the release sheet: Town Clocks Parking […]

This Week in Universal News: Tennis Legends Wills and Wightman Take on the Boehm Twins, 1931

On July 15th, 1931, legendary tennis players Helen Wills and Hazel Hotchkiss Wightman competed against Hilda and Helen Boehm in the first round of the National Doubles Championship at Longwood Cricket Club in Brookline, Massachusetts. The 17-year-old Boehm twins were junior doubles champions in 1931. Between 1922 and 1938, Helen Wills won 19 of the […]

This Week in Universal News: Howard Hughes and the Boeing 307 Stratoliner, 1939

In July of 1939, Howard Hughes purchased the first Boeing 307 Stratoliner. Because of the plane’s pressurized cabin, the plane could fly at altitudes over 20,000 feet, allowing it to avoid rough weather. In this clip from Universal News, we see the multi-millionaire taking his new toy for a test drive. Hughes had hoped to use the […]

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