Tuesday, July 1, 2008

On July 1

On this day in ...
... 1903 (105 years ago today), Amy Johnson (right) was born in Hull, Yorkshire, England. After receiving her bachelor's degree from Sheffield University in 1923, she worked as a legal secretary in London; there she became interested in aviation. She qualified as the 1st British-trained woman ground engineer. and for a while was the only woman performing this work in the world. Among her other achievements: 1st woman to fly solo from England to Australia, in 1930, in record time; record-setting flight from england to Japan, in 1931; and record-setting solo flight from England to South Africa, in 1936. When World War II broke out Johnson served in the Air Transport Auxiliary, "a pool of experienced pilots who were ineligible" for service in the Royal Air Force. On one of these flights, in 1941, her plane crashed in the Thames; Johnson's body never was recovered.
... 1968 (40 years ago today), 61 countries signed the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, opened for signature simultaneously in Washington, London, and Moscow. The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, or NPT, entered into force in 1970 and now has 187 states parties. It is monitored by the International Atomic Energy Agency, which is preparing for a treaty review conference in 2010.

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