Trivia Minute May 6, 2015

Episode 67: The Hindenburg Disaster

by Marcus Michelson
Hindenburg burning at Lakehurst, N.J., on May 6, 1927. (Gus Pasquerella via Wikimedia Commons
The airship Hindenburg burns while trying to land at Lakehurst, N.J., on May 6, 1927. (Gus Pasquerella via Wikimedia Commons

Today marks the 78th anniversary of the crash of the Hindenburg airship in Lakehurst, New Jersey.

Watching events unfold that day was reporter Herbert Morrison from Chicago’s WLS radio.

Here are some things you might not know about the Hindenburg crash and Herbert Morrison:

First: Morrison’s report wasn’t live, in fact it was recorded to large acetate record discs. While leaving the airfield, Morrison, then 31 years old, was said to have dodged German SS officers who wanted to hear his recordings. The report didn’t air until noon the next day when Morrison arrived back in Chicago.

Second: Recording news reports was against NBC network policy at the time. An exception was made and Morrison’s account of the crash was the first recorded news event aired on the network. NBC didn’t start regularly recording news until after World War II.

Third: Morrison went on to serve in the Army Air Corps during World War II and worked in television news in Pittsburgh. He retired after starting a broadcasting program at West Virginia University. He died in Morgantown, West Virginia in 1989 at age 83.

Our question: Was the Hindenburg on its maiden voyage when it crashed?

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