In conjunction with the Greater Astoria Historical Society, the Queens Chronicle presents “Queens Timeline,” a regular column
of noteworthy events in the borough’s history.
It happened in Queens in the month of October…
…On October 28, 1958, on a rain-soaked evening at Queens’ Idlewild Airport (now JFK International Airport), the Pan American “Clipper America” took off, thus inaugurating commercial jet travel by a U.S. airline. This scheduled jet flight to Paris, reaching the unheard of speed of 575 mph, greatly reduced travel time from 23 hours to only seven. A BOAC Comet 4 aircraft, landing at Idlewild, completed the first transatlantic passenger jet flight 24 days earlier.
…On October 23, 1925, the Flushing Line, now the Number 7 Train, reached 111th Street in Corona. It reached Main Street in Flushing in 1928.
…On October 1, 1915, in a moment frozen in time by photographs and postcards of the era, the massive arches of the Hell Gate Bridge were joined high above the East River. An engineering marvel at the time the bridge’s two halves were only separated by 5/16 of an inch before being connected.
Begun in July 1912 and completed in 1917, the Hell Gate Bridge, more properly the New York Connecting Railroad Bridge, was the longest bridge of its type. The bridge approach extends from ground level in Sunnyside and climbs the rail viaduct through Astoria, over the river, spans Wards and Randalls Islands and finally crosses over the Bronx Kill into the Bronx to points north.
Train travel from Pennsylvania Station in New York City to New England was finally and successfully realized.
…On October 10, 1645, Vlissingen received a charter from Willem Kieft, the Dutch governor of New Amsterdam and New Netherland. Vlissingen, named after a city in the Netherlands, was later corrupted by English speakers to “Flushing.”
For more information on the Greater Astoria Historical Society, call 718-278-0700 or visit www.astorialic.org on the Web.
—Research by Richard Melnick