Gumbo was at The Miscou Island Lighthouse, and believe it or not, no one solved the puzzle this week.
The lighthouse was built in 1856 and is a designated a National Historic Site in Canada. They gives tours in the summer. The lighthouse is on the northeastern part of Miscou Island, in the Gulf of St Lawrence. It's known for all its natural habitat and its beauty during the different seasons.
The Miscou Lighthouse is pretty neat, but what makes it so different and what the lighthouse is so proud of is the role it played in aviation history.
On April 28th, 1939, Brig. Gen. Vladimir Kokkinaki and his copilot, Major Mikhail Kh. Gordienko, were going from Moscow to the 1939 World's Fair, "The Land of Tomorrow" in New York City for Stalin's Russia. They were flying a Russian prototype Ilyushin TsKB-30 twin-engined bomber that was painted bright red and called "Moskva". Their flight was expected to be a 24-hour, non-stop journey, pioneering a new northern “Great Circle Route". Their planned route was, Moscow to Novgorod, USSR; then Helsinki, Finland; Trondheim, Norway; Reykjavik, Iceland; Cape Farewell, Greenland, Labrador, Canada; and then to New York City’s Floyd Bennett Field.
The two men were more than 20 hours into their flight when weather conditions south of Labrador turned bad. Knowing that a crowd had been assembled at Floyd Bennett Field to greet them, even schoolgirls with flowers, they pressed on, hoping to get through the bad weather and fly into clearer air further south.
But they didn't get far and got lost and the the pilot, BG Kokkinaki, lost consciousness. The co-pilot, Maj Gordienko, had to crash land the plane by himself on the island of Miscou where he saw the lighthouse. His pilot woke up after the crash to help evacuate. A French Canadian villager found them and the lighthouse telegraphed what had happened. The plane would never fly again and it was eventually shipped out of there.
Even though they didn't reach New York with the Moskva, most everyone recognized what a true achievement it was. They mapped and pioneered a Great Circle route from Moscow to New York and that same route is still in use today. They had flown nearly 5,000 miles in 22 hours and 56 minutes, averaging 216 mph.
The USSR’s pavilion at the 1939 World’s Fair won the Grand Prize as the finest built, best designed and most amazing pavilion in the entire exposition. When the pilots did reach New York City a couple of days later, they were welcomed as heroes—people recognized that the weather was why they didn't make it to New York City.
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