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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.



From: FREEP.COM
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