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  • 7/28/2010

The Day in History:

US Bomber Crashes into New York's Empire State Building (1945)

empire state
The Empire State Building is a 102-story Art Deco skyscraper in New York City at the intersection of Fifth Avenue and West 34th Street.

 Its name is derived from the nickname for the state of New York. It stood as the world's tallest building for more than forty years, from its completion in 1931 until construction of the World Trade Center's North Tower was completed in 1972. Following the destruction of the World Trade Center in 2001, the Empire State Building again became the tallest building in New York City.

The Empire State Building has been named by the American Society of Civil Engineers as one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World. The building and its street floor interior are designated landmarks of the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission, and confirmed by the New York City Board of Estimate. It was designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1986. In 2007, it was ranked number one on the List of America's Favorite Architecture according to the AIA. The building is owned and managed by W&H Properties

 

1945 Plane Crash

A worker bolts beams during construction; the Chrysler Building can be seen in the background.At 9:40 a.m. on Saturday, July 28, 1945, a B-25 Mitchell bomber, piloted in thick fog by Lieutenant Colonel William F. Smith, Jr., accidentally crashed into the north side of the Empire State Building, between the 79th and 80th floors, where the offices of the National Catholic Welfare Council were located. One engine shot through the side opposite the impact and fell on a nearby building; the other plummeted down an elevator shaft. The resulting fire was extinguished in 40 minutes. Fourteen people were killed in the incident. Elevator operator Betty Lou Oliver survived a plunge of 75 stories inside an elevator, which still stands as the Guinness World Record for the longest survived elevator fall recorded. Despite the damage and loss of life, the building was open for business on many floors on the following Monday.

Tallest skyscraper for 41 years

empire state

The Empire State Building remained the tallest skyscraper in the world for 41 years, and stood as the world's tallest man-made structure for 23 years. It was surpassed as tallest building by the North Tower of the World Trade Center in 1972. With the destruction of the World Trade Center in the September 11, 2001 attacks, the Empire State Building again became the tallest building in New York City, and the second-tallest building in the United States.

 

Suicides

Over the years, more than thirty people have committed suicide from the top of the building. The first suicide occurred even before its completion, by a worker after being laid off. The fence around the observatory terrace was put up in 1947 after five people tried to jump during a three-week span. In 1979, Elvita Adams jumped from the 86th floor, only to be blown back onto the 85th floor and left with only a broken hip. The building was also the site of suicides in 2004 and 2006. The last suicide was by a lawyer who leapt from the 69th floor on Friday, April 13, 2007.

The Empire State Building cost $40,948,900 to build.

Source: encyclopedia.thefreedictionary.com


Other Links:

The Day in History: Mary I Begins Reign as Queen of England (1553)

The Day in History: Battle of Peachtree Creek

The Day in History: Sirimavo Bandaranaike Becomes Worlds First Female Prime Minister (1960)

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