1906 s-o-s was adopted as the international distress signal. (See August 11th entry.)
1935 The flying boat, The China Clipper, left San Francisco on the first transpacific air-mail flight.
1963 President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. (See May 29th entry.)
1911 The supersonic Concorde jet began service to New York from London and Paris. (See January 21st entry.)
November Twenty-second is a date that will always be remembered by the generations who lived through it in 1963. It was the fatal day President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. So much of what transpired after that was seen on television throughout the world, vividly engraved in millions of minds. Questions about the incident have persisted ever since. It is the nature of human beings to ask questions, to wonder, to be skeptical. It was President Kennedy’s nature to stand back and look at himself—and sometimes to be amused. In this regard he was a typical American; that, while we are serious in our purposes, we don’t take ourselves too seriously. As Kennedy said months before he died, “. . . if we cannot end now our differences, at least we can make the world safe for diversity.”
It’s rough enough when people from different parts of the world attempt to talk to each other. Luckily, there is one universal phrase. Ever since this day, in 1906, the letters S - O-S—spelled out in wireless code—have been used as the international distress signal.
The act of flying over deep waters saw two high points on this day in history. In 1935, Pan-American’s flying boat—The China Clipper—left San Francisco carrying the first airmail load across the Pacific Ocean. And in 1977, the supersonic Concorde jet expanded its service across the Atlantic Ocean to New York City from London and Paris. The China Clipper was eventually mothballed as faster planes were developed. But neither it nor the Concorde added to the air-crash statistics that have happened with faster and more modem aircraft today.