Gen. George Washington says goodbye to his troops, cheerleading is born, the "Spruce Goose" takes off, Truman defeats Dewey, and a federal holiday is created to honor Martin Luther King Jr., all on this day.
1947: In Long Beach, Calif., Howard Hughes performs the maiden (and only) flight of the H-4 Hercules, the largest fixed-wing aircraft ever built, remaining airborne at 70 feet off the water at a speed of 135 mph for around a mile. Built from wood because of wartime restrictions on the use of aluminum and concerns about weight, its critics nicknamed it the "Spruce Goose," despite it being made almost entirely of birch rather than spruce.
Warner Bros. Pictures
Andrea De Stefani/SXC
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