MAY 6, 1937: The German airship Hindenburg bursts into flames at Lakehurst, N.J., killing 35 passengers and crew. Stretching 840 feet in length, the largest dirigible ever built and the pride of Nazi Germany, Hindenberg had made ten cross-Atlantic runs since beginning regular air service the previous year. The massive ship carried 36 passengers in the height of luxury, attended by 61 crewmembers. But the hydrogen gas that kept her aloft — the use of which was a result of restrictions on the export of helium to Germany — would contribute to her demise when a spark of atmospheric electricity ignited the volatile gas, causing an explosion that quickly consumed the entire airship. Radio announcer Herb Morrison’s emotional description of the disaster as it happened become a milestone in lives-news broadcasts. The disaster would prove the beginning of the end of lighter-than-air passenger service.