50 years ago today, the first 747 aircraft was rolled out of the Boeing assembly plant before the world’s press and officials from the 26 airline companies who had ordered the Jumbo Jet. The wide-body plane could be used as either a cargo aircraft—with its distinctive upper-deck accessible through an optional front cargo door—or as a passenger jet with an upper deck used for a first–class lounge or extra seating. Designed to transport 150 percent more people than the Boeing 707, it held the record for passenger capacity for 37 years. It exceeded critics’ expectations and as of this summer, 1,546 aircraft had been built, with 22 still on order. (1968)

– Photo by Aldo Bidini, GFDL license

More Good News on this Date:

  • Rumi, the beloved Persian poet and Sufi mystic of the thirteenth century was born (1207)
  • Mozart’s opera The Magic Flute premiered in Vienna, Austria (1791)
  • The author and Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel was born (1928–2016)
  • League of Nations unanimously outlawed intentionally bombing civilians (1938)
  • Mexican-American labor leader César Chávez founded the United Farm Workers (1962)
  • Botswana – Independence Day (1966)
  • The UK’s first national pop radio station, BBC Radio 1 was launched in the UK to take over from the very successful pirate radio stations, which had been forced off-air by the government—and former pirate DJ Tony Blackburn of Radio Caroline became the first presenter on air (1967)
  • Roberto Clemente reached his 3,000th hit, the last of his baseball career, before his death in a plane crash while in route to deliver humanitarian aid to earthquake victims in Nicaragua (1972)
  • The first president chosen in free elections by the Serbian people, Vojislav Kostunica, was sworn in after defeating Slobodan Milosevic, Europe’s last dictator, by a wide margin (2000)
  • A giant squid in its natural habitat is photographed for the first time 600 miles south of Tokyo (2004)

RELATEDNew Rumi Film Will Challenge Muslim Stereotypes

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