Tag Archives: History

The Dole Air Race: Crash and Burn, Repeat

“*crashes and dies horribly*”

~The average airplane pilot in the 1920s

crashed plane

On the grand scale of human endeavors, we as a species have only recently mastered the art of flight.  We’ve been able to stay in the air in a contraption of our own design for only a little over 100 years at this point, and we’re still trying to work out the kinks (consider- Spirit Airlines).  But in the early days of flight, we really had no clue what the hell we were doing.  Like, at all.  Flying was something done by a very select group of crazy people with a death wish—listen, Amelia Earhart was a pioneer and an inspiration and blah blah blah, but it’s safe to say that part of her legacy comes from the fact that she partook in a profession that all but guaranteed that we’d never got to see what she looked like as an old lady.  The fact that Charles Lindbergh lived to be 72 is almost as shocking as the fact that he had a secret Nazi family.

The early days in aviation were filled with daring attempts to do something that had never been done before using planes that were made out of balsa wood, fabric, and a lot of praying.  The ambition often exceeded the technology, and when we weren’t trying to milk sky cows, we were trying to fly to parts of the world that we had no right trying to fly to.

Which sets the scene for 1927, when James D. Dole, the “he actually was called this” Pineapple King, decided he would sponsor an air race from Oakland to Hawaii, a trip that had never been successfully flown before.  The Dole Air Race that followed would end up going down in history as one of America’s finest and most tragic moments of “What the fuck did you think would happen?”  Just always remember- the reason you are alive today is that your great-grandparents did not try to fly airplanes in 1927.

The Dole Air Race:  Crash and Burn, Repeat

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The Fenian Brotherhood: Invading Canada, From America, For Ireland

“Ha ha, guys, what are you doing?  Come on, stop that.”

~American and Canadian Forces, 1866

fenian

For years, we’ve treated Canada like our polite, little brother to the North.  They’re friendly, they send over some comedians we like, and excluding the time they killed the Baldwin family in the South Park movie, they’ve been an adequate ally and neighbor.  We tend to forget that they’re technically still a Commonwealth of England, with the Queen on their currency and everything, but we don’t really care about that, since we’ve not really had a beef with England since they burned down our White House and we were forced to replace it with a much more kickass presidential residence.

Now, while Canada has never really done anything wrong by us, England does have its fair share of people pissed off at them.  Like, say, the Irish.  Oh yeah, the Irish have a very sticky history with England and, well, there’s no nuanced way to say this so we’ll just spit it out—a bunch of Irish Americans invaded Canada as a “fuck you” to England, which is just about the closest we as a nation has come to invading Canada since the early 1800s.  So that’s a thing, a thing that happened, in history.  Let’s talk about it.

That One Time the Fenian Brotherhood Kept Invading Canada From America

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