Historical Firsts

The Month of August

July 25, 2013

graf zeppelin 

  • Aug. 1, 1971Apollo 15 mission commander David R. Scott relayed exciting news to Mission Control and the scientists in the back room. “Guess what we just found! I think we found what we came for.” That sample, nicknamed the Genesis Rock, was a piece of the moon’s primordial crust. Geologists, hoping to learn more about the moon and its origins, selected the Hadley-Apennines landing site for precisely this reason. While not the oldest lunar sample brought back from the moon, geologists at the Manned Spacecraft Center (now known as the Johnson Space Center) later concluded that this rock was about 4 billion years old
  • Aug. 10, 1947 — A new world airspeed record of 640 mph is set in the Douglas Skystreak
  • Aug. 15, 1958 — Congress approves a bill creating the Federal Aviation Agency to regulate all U.S. commercial and military aviation.
  • Aug. 19National Aviation Day is observed in the United States each year to celebrate the history and development of  aviation. It coincides with the birthday of Orville Wright who, together with his brother Wilbur, made significant contributions to powered flight.
  • August 24–25, 1931Amelia Earhart  made the first solo, nonstop flight by a woman across the United States, from Los Angeles to Newark, N.J., establishing a women's record of 19 hours and 5 minutes and setting a women's distance record of 2,447 miles.
  • August 1929 — First round-the-world airship flight. The LZ-127, known as the Graf Zeppelin, flew 21,300 miles in 20 days and 4 hours. It also set a distance record.



21,300 miles in 20 days and 4 hours. It also set a distance record.