Today in Pan American Airlines History

Historical Events

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1931-11-17 Charles Lindbergh inaugurates Pan Am service from Cuba to South America in the Sikorsky flying boat "American Clipper"

  • 1937-04-28 1st commercial flight across Pacific operated by Pan Am
  • 1937-12-29 Pan Am starts service between San Francisco and Auckland, New Zealand
  • 1939-05-20 1st regular transatlantic airmail (Pan Am: NY to Marsseille France)
  • 1939-06-24 Pan Am's 1st US to England flight
  • 1939-06-28 Pan Am opens southern route transatlantic air service (Dixie Clipper)
  • 1942-01-06 Pan American Airlines becomes the first commercial airline to schedule a flight around the world ("Pacific Clipper").
  • 1947-01-06 Pan American Airlines offers a round-the-world-ticket, the first commercial airline to do so
  • 1947-06-17 Pan Am Airways chartered as 1st worldwide passenger airline
  • 1951-02-25 1st Pan American Games opens (Buenos Aires Argentina)
  • 1959-10-10 Pan Am begins regular flights around the world
  • 1963-12-08 Pan Am Flight 214 crashes outside Elkton, Maryland with 81 killed. Only case of lighting causing air crash
  • 1966-04-13 Pan Am places $525,000,000 order for 25 Boeing 747s
  • 1974-04-27 Pan Am 707 crashes into mountains of Bali, killing 107
  • 1976-04-26 Pan Am begins non-stop flights NYC-Tokyo
  • 1977-03-27 583 die in aviation's worst ever disaster when two Boeing 747s collide at Tenerife airport
  • 1977-05-16 5 die as NY Airway helicopter topples on Pan Am bldg in NYC
  • 1977-05-27 2 Boeing 747s by Pan Am & KLM collide in Canary Islands, killing 582
  • 1982-07-09 Pan Am Boeing 727 crashes in Kenner La, killing 153
  • 1988-12-21 Lockerbie disaster: Pan Am Flight 103 destroyed mid air by a terrorist bomb killing all 258 on board over Scotland
  • 1991-11-14 American and British authorities announce indictments against two Libyan intelligence officials in connection with the downing of the Pan Am Flight 103.
  • 1991-12-04 Pan American World Airways ceased operations
  • 1998-08-24 The Netherlands is selected as the site for the trial of the two Libyan suspects of the 1988 Pan Am bombing.
  • 1999-04-05 Two Libyans suspected of bringing down Pan Am flight 103 in 1988 are handed over for eventual trial in the Netherlands.
  • 2001-01-31 In the Netherlands a Scottish court convicts a Libyan and acquits another for their part in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 which crashed into Lockerbie, Scotland in 1988.
  • 2003-09-12 The United Nations lifts sanctions against Libya after that country agreed to accept responsibility and recompense the families of victims in the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103.

Famous Birthdays

  • 1899-02-20 Cornelius Vanderbilt Whitney, LI NY, founder (Pan Am Airways)
  • 1912-01-11 Roger Lewis, aviation exec (Lockheed, Curtiss Wright, Pan Am)
  • 1952-04-01 Abdel Basset Ali Al-Megrahi, Tripoli Libya, bomber (Pan Am 103), (d. 2012)
  • 1956-04-04 Lamen Khalifa Fhimah, Suk Giuma Libya, bomber (Pan Am Flight 103)

Famous Deaths

  • 1981-04-03 Juan Trippe, Airline entrepreneur and pioneer, Pan Am founder (b. 1899)
  • 1987-11-12 Roger Lewis, aviation exec (Lockheed, C Wright, Pan Am), dies at 75
  • 2012-05-20 Abdel Basset Ali Al-Megrahi, convicted bomber (Pan Am 103), dies from prostate cancer at 60