Skip to main content

1910 Seventy-five Years Ago

March 2023
1min read

During Glenn Curtiss’s pioneering airplane flight between Albany and New York, an as yet unheard of use for the airplane dawned on him. He announced it to the press upon landing: “All the great battles of the future will be fought in the air. I have demonstrated that it is easy to fly over cities and fortifications. It would be perfectly practical to drop enough dynamite or picric acid down on West Point or a city like New York to destroy it utterly.… Take my word for it, the days for big warships are numbered.”

The Navy took notice. When Curtiss flew over Keuka Lake, New York, on June 30 and dropped dummy bombs—eight-inch pieces of lead pipe—within a ring of buoyed flags representing a battleship, military observers were there. It was the first airplane bombing experiment. Fifteen out of seventeen bits of pipe splashed down on target, but Rear Adm. W. W. Kimball nevertheless declared: “There was nothing in the trial that would lead one to suppose that in the present state of the art of aviation there is anything in a possible aerial attack to cause the slightest uneasiness to the commanding officer of a well-ordered ship.” For one, he said, the sound of a plane’s engine would alert a ship to its approach.

By January the War Department was hiring men for aviation training.

June 25: The Publicity of Campaign Contributions Act is made law, requiring U.S. representatives to make public all contributions received for election campaigns.

July 1 : The first completely automatic bread plant opens in Chicago, Illinois.

July 20: The Christian Endeavor Society of Missouri begins its campaign to ban kissing in films. Kisses between actors portraying relatives are deemed acceptable.

We hope you enjoy our work.

Please support this 72-year tradition of trusted historical writing and the volunteers that sustain it with a donation to American Heritage.


Stories published from "June/july 1985"

Authored by: Geoffrey C. Ward

Have historians underestimated the importance of Roosevelt’s twenty-four-year struggle with the disease that made him a paraplegic?

Authored by: The Editors

In 1983 our country went to war and left the press behind. The outcry that followed raised issues that first came up when Abraham Lincoln was President and still remain with us.

Authored by: Stephen W. Sears

The Civil War ignited the basic conflict between a free press and the need for military security. By war’s end, the hard-won compromises between soldiers and newspapermen may not have provided all the answers, but they had raised all the modern questions.

Authored by: John Chancellor

A veteran reporter looks back to a time when the stakes were really high — and yet military men actually trusted newsmen.

Authored by: Joseph H. Cooper

Westmoreland and Sharon embarked on costly lawsuits to justify their battlefield judgments. They might have done much better to listen to Mrs. William Tecumseh Sherman.

Authored by: Brian Dunning

The curious story of Milford Haven

Authored by: Brian Dunning

The curious story of Milford Haven

Authored by: Ruth Mehrtens Calvin

His works ranged from intimate cameos to heroic public monuments. America has produced no greater sculptor.

Authored by: Elting E. Morison

A lot of people still remember how great it was to ride in the old Pullmans, how curiously regal to have a simple, well-cooked meal in the dining car. Those memories are perfectly accurate—and that lost pleasure holds a lesson for us that extends beyond mere nostalgia.

Authored by: Peggy Robbins

Slovenly, impulsive, impoverished, and grotesque, Constantine Samuel Rafinesque was the greatest naturalist of his age. But nobody knew it.

Featured Articles

Rarely has the full story been told how a famed botanist, a pioneering female journalist, and First Lady Helen Taft battled reluctant bureaucrats to bring Japanese cherry trees to Washington. 

Often thought to have been a weak president, Carter was strong-willed in doing what he thought was right, regardless of expediency or the political fallout.

Why have thousands of U.S. banks failed over the years? The answers are in our history and politics.

In his Second Inaugural Address, Abraham Lincoln embodied leading in a time of polarization, political disagreement, and differing understandings of reality.

Native American peoples and the lands they possessed loomed large for Washington, from his first trips westward as a surveyor to his years as President.

A hundred years ago, America was rocked by riots, repression, and racial violence.

During Pres. Washington’s first term, an epidemic killed one tenth of all the inhabitants of Philadelphia, then the capital of the young United States.

Now a popular state park, the unassuming geological feature along the Illinois River has served as the site of centuries of human habitation and discovery.  

The recent discovery of the hull of the battleship Nevada recalls her dramatic action at Pearl Harbor and ultimate revenge on D-Day as the first ship to fire on the Nazis.

Our research reveals that 19 artworks in the U.S. Capitol honor men who were Confederate officers or officials. What many of them said, and did, is truly despicable.

Here is probably the most wide-ranging look at Presidential misbehavior ever published in a magazine.

When Germany unleashed its blitzkreig in 1939, the U.S. Army was only the 17th largest in the world. FDR and Marshall had to build a fighting force able to take on the Nazis, against the wishes of many in Congress.