Sunday, June 29, 2008

Today in History: The First Transatlantic Passenger Flight

In honor of two special friends whose birthdays are both June 28th – Pavel in Volgograd (where it’s already the 29th) and Melissa in Nashville (where it’s still the 28th) – both born in 1954, by the way – let’s have a look at this day in history.

The first transatlantic passenger flight happened on June 28, 1939. Pan American Airways carried passengers from New York to Marseilles, France. One-way tickets were $375 and travel time was well over 24 hours.

Transatlantic flight has changed quite a bit in the last nearly-70 years. For one thing, ticket prices have come way down and the flight is a fraction of the time. A one-way ticket from New York to Paris will cost around $530. (So. . . how would that compare to the $376 in 1939 dollars?*) And time-wise, the flight is around seven hours, way down from an entire day.

Well, back to the birthday pair, Pavel and Melisa, they weren't around in 1939 to celebrate the transatlantic passenger flight. But they've wasted no time getting themselves aloft. Please allow me to introduce our honorees. . .

Dear Pavel, Christian brother in Volgograd, Russia where he is a fine preacher of the gospel. Pavel has made his share of transatlantic flights over the years, especially after perestroika, when Russia opened up in the early 1990's.

Dear friend Melissa, here shown last summer in Donetsk, Ukraine, teaching a children's Bible class. Melissa has done lots of transatlantic flights, transpacific flights and quite a few down to South America.

Happy Birthday Melissa! С днём рождения, Павел! (Happy Birthday, Pavel)

*Note: Just occurred to me that our honorees could figure this out. Both are smart cookies. Pavel has PhD and MD degrees. Melissa is a Mensa-type, summa cumma laude -whiz kid. They probably have this figured out already. They've probably known it since childhood. =)

1 comment:

Momma B said...

Thank you for the personal birthday blog. I had a special day with family, lunch at Olive Garden, and some nice cards. Thanks for remembering!