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Today in History: The Hindenburg Disaster

On May 6, 1937 the German airship Hindenburg caught fire above New Jersey and crashed to the ground resulting in 36 fatalities. The Hindenburg used the lighter though more flammable hydrogen as a lifting gas instead of helium. A spark is believed to have ignited the flames, though the origin of the spark has long been in question. Recently a team at the South West Research Institute in San Antonio, Tex. led by British scientist Jem Stansfield, identified static electricity as the most likely cause of the explosion.

Learn more about the Hindenburg disaster with one of the many book and newspaper resources available at Milwaukee Public Library.


Footage from Castle and Pathé coverage of the Hindenburg disaster at Lakehurst. Also shots of the big ships over New York.

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