On October 11, 1928, the Graf Zeppelin airship left on the first non-stop transatlantic passenger flight leaving Friedrichshafen, Germany, and arrived at Naval Air Station Lakehurst, New Jersey, on October 15th.
New Jersey officially recognizes 1664 as the year the state was founded when land owned by the Duke of York was given to Sir George Carteret and John Lord Berkeley. That transaction record proclaimed that “said Tract of Land is hereafter to be called by the name or names of New Cesarea or New Jersey.” That makes this year New Jersey’s 350th Anniversary! To celebrate this major milestone, we’ve undertaken a project we’re calling 35 New Jersey Firsts where we highlight 35 things that first came to life in New Jersey.
A company named DELAG (an acronym for Deutsche Luftschiffahrts-Aktiengesellschaft which is German for “German Airship Travel Corporation”) used the Graf Zeppelin for regularly scheduled passenger flights across the North Atlantic, from Frankfurt-am-Main to Lakehurst.
Later on DELAG introduced the Hindenburg in 1936. Fare was $400 one way; the ten westward trips that season took between 53 and 78 hours and eastward took between 43 and 61 hours. The first North Atlantic trip of 1937 ended in the Hindenburg’s famous disaster at Lakehurst. So you could say that zeppelin travel began and ended here in New Jersey.
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