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The Hindenburg Disaster - 70 Years Later

The German LZ 129 Hindenburg was, along with its sister ship, LZ 130 Graf Zeppelin II, the largest aircraft ever built. It was named after Paul von Hindenburg (1847-1934), president of Germany from 1925 until his death.

During the Hindenburg's second year of service, its tail caught fire on landing at Lakehurst Naval Air Station in Lakehurst, N.J., on May 6, 1937. Within seconds, the ship's 6 million cubic feet of hydrogen was ablaze. The airship was destroyed, and 36 passengers and crewmen were killed.

Many theories and hypotheses - ranging from lightning to sabotage - have been floated over the years, but a definitive cause is still not known.

The Hindenburg fire is widely remembered as one of the most dramatic incidents ever.

Heavy publicity about the Zeppelin's first passenger flight of the year to the United States had drawn an extraordinary array of journalists to the landing site. Best remembered is Herbert Morrison's on-the-scene radio report.

What surprises today's audiences is that Morrison's report was recorded and not actually broadcast until the next day. Parts of it were later dubbed onto the newsreel footage, giving a false impression that the words and film were recorded together.

Nevertheless, Morrison's spontaneous exclamation "Oh, the humanity!" resonates with the impact of the disaster.



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This Month in
Led Zeppelin History


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December 16, 1968 - Zep plays Bath Pavilion for a mere £75.
December 26, 1968 - First American concert at the Coliseum in Denver, CO
December xx, 1969 - Led Zeppelin are reported to have sold 5 million dollars worth of albums in the US
December 11, 1969 - Led Zeppelin are presented gold and platinum discs for their first two albums
December xx, 1970 - The band enters Island Studios to begin work on the fourth album
December xx, 1971 - The band plays a few low-key shows back in England
December 23, 1972 - The band break for Christmas holiday after a London gig
December xx, 1973 - John Paul Jones works on studio productions for Madeline Bell
December xx, 1973 - Joe Massot films Jimmy Page’s fantasy sequence at Loch Ness
December 19, 1974 - John Paul Jones and Jimmy Page jam with Bad Company at the Rainbow Theater
December 10, 1975 - Led Zeppelin play a 45-minute show with Norman Hale at Behan’s in Jersey
December xx, 1976 - Led Zeppelin rehearses for the 1977 tour
December 25, 1976 - It’s announced that Plant and Bonham will reunite with the Band of Joy for three shows in the new year
December xx, 1977 - The band minus Robert gather to discuss Led Zeppelin’s future plans
December xx, 1978 - The new album is completed quickly at Polar Studios and mixed at Jimmy’s Plumpton Studio
December xx, 1979 - John Bonham considers joining Paul McCartney’s Wings
December 29, 1979 - The band minus Jimmy Page attend the Paul McCartney And Wings Kampuchea befefit show
December 04, 1980 - Led Zeppelin issue the following statement not to carry on as a band: "We wish it to be known, that the loss of our dear friend and the deep respect we have for his family, together with the deep sense of harmony felt by ourselves and our manager have led us to decide that we could not continue as we were."
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