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Today in History (1938): Howard Hughes circumnavigates the globe in 91 hours

A billionaire, film maker, and aviator sets a world record.

Photo via ridiculousmind

Howard Robard Hughes, Jr., better known simply as Howard Hughes, was a billionaire, business tycoon and film maker. He gained Hollywood prestige from the 1920’s to the 1940’s for films like Hell’s Angels, Scarface, and The Outlaw.

The rich and powerful Hughes had a very complex personality. He displayed symptoms of mental illness and had obsessive-compulsive disorder. Despite his highly peculiar behavior, Hughes led a very colorful personal life. He dated a string of Hollywood stars, including Ava Gardner, Bette Davis, Ginger Rogers, and Katharine Hepburn.

Aside from being a distinguished film director and producer, Hughes is fondly remembered as a gifted aviator. He built aircrafts and set flight records, investing in his passion for aviation.

On this same day in 1938, Howard Hughes set a world record and completed a flight around the world in just 91 hours (3 days and 19 hours) aboard a Lockheed Super Electra. Hughes and his crew—-including his co-pilot and navigator, then U.S. Army Air Corps lieutenant Thomas Thurlow—-took off from New York, flew across Paris, proceeded to Russian cities such as Moscow, Omsk, Yakutsk, over Fairbanks in Alaska, Minneapolis, and back to New York.

Landing on Fairbanks, Alaska during the 1938 flight. via wikipedia
Crowd surrounds the Lockheed Super Electra after the flight. via airspacemag
Hughes, second from left, and his crew. via airspacemag

The 2004 Oscar-winning film Aviator, directed by Martin Scorsese, focuses on Howard Hughes’s life, particularly his stellar achievements in aviation.

Like this article? Check out more stories from our Today in History and Throwback Thursday series.

written by jillytanrad

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