On This Day, Jan 14, 1943 – FDR Becomes First Sitting US President to Take to the Air

FDR Flies

1943President Franklin D. Roosevelt became the first U.S. President to fly in an airplane while in office, arriving in Morocco to join British Prime Minister Winston Churchill for a 10-day conference in Casablanca that mapped the course the allies would pursue in fighting World War II and that demanded the “unconditional surrender” of their enemies.

In crossing the Atlantic in a Boeing 314 Flying Boat dubbed the Dixie Clipper, Roosevelt became the first president to travel on official business by airplane. At the time, FDR was a frail 60 years old, with little more than two more years to live. He was persuaded to make the arduous 17,000-mile round trip by air because Nazi U-boats still remained on the prowl.

The secret presidential flight took more than four days to allow for refueling and rest stops. Although transferred to the U.S. Navy and designated C-143, the huge sea plane was piloted by a civilian Pan American Airways crew. It departed by water off Miami, touched down in the Caribbean and continued down the east coast of South America to Belém, Brazil, before arriving in Bathurst in British Gambia and then proceeding up the African coast to Casablanca.

After the meeting, FDR visited with U.S. troops and did some sightseeing before retracing the same route back to the United States. He celebrated his 61st birthday while flying over Haiti.

In January 1942, Churchill returned to Britain in a similar Pan Am flying boat after delivering his “What kind of people do they think we are?” speech to Congress.


1639 – Connecticut’s first constitution, the “Fundamental Orders,” was adopted.

1784 – The United States ratified a peace treaty with England ending the Revolutionary War.

1858 – French emperor Napoleon III escaped an attempt on his life.

1873 – John Hyatt’s 1869 invention ‘Celluloid’ was registered as a trademark.

1878 – Alexander Graham Bell demonstrated the telephone for Britain’s Queen Victoria.

1882 – The Myopia Hunt Club, in Winchester, MA, became the first country club in the United States.

1907 – An earthquake killed over 1,000 people in Kingston, Jamaica.

1951 – The first National Football League Pro Bowl All-Star Game was played in Los Angeles, CA.

1952 – NBC’s “Today” show premiered.

1953 – Josip Broz Tito was elected president of Yugoslavia by the country’s Parliament.

1954 – Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio were married. The marriage only lasted nine months.

1954 – The Hudson Motor Car Company merged with Nash-Kelvinator. The new company was called the American Motors Corporation.

1963 – George C. Wallace was sworn in as governor of Alabama.

1969 – An explosion aboard the U.S. aircraft carrier Enterprise off Hawaii killed 25 crew members.

1972 – NBC-TV debuted “Sanford & Son.

1973 – The Miami Dolphins defeated the Washington Redskins in Super Bowl VII and became the first NFL team to go undefeated in a season.

1985 – Martina Navratilova won her 100th tournament. She joined Jimmy Connors and Chris Evert Lloyd as the only professional tennis players to win 100 tournaments.

1993 – Television talk show host David Letterman announced he was moving from NBC to CBS.

1993 – The British government pledged to introduce legislation to criminalize invasions of privacy by the press.

1998 – Whitewater prosecutors questioned Hillary Rodham Clinton at the White House for 10 minutes about the gathering of FBI background files on past Republican political appointees.

1998 – In Dallas, researchers report an enzyme that slows the aging process and cell death.

1999 – The impeachment trial of President William Clinton began in Washington, DC.

2000 – A U.N. tribunal sentenced five Bosnian Croats to up to 25 years for the 1993 massacre of over 100 Muslims in a Bosnian village.

 

Source: On-This-Day.com; wwii-in-photographs.tumblr.com