56 HomeYamamoto and the Secret Admirers
Neal Stephenson 


Hindenburg Disaster
The Hindenburg Zeppelin had departed from Frankfurt-am-Main on 3rd May 1937 with 97 people on board. But three days later as it began its landing procedure at Lakehurst, New Jersey it exploded and burst into flames. Thirty five people died in the disaster of 6th May 1937.

Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin (1838-1917) was a German aeronautical pioneer who developed and constructed hydrogen-filled airships with rigid keels.

The Zeppelins were intended to be the ocean liners of the sky, but after this disaster the Zeppelin airships fell out of favour and were abandoned as a means of transport.

The Hindenburg Zeppelin was named after Paul Ludwig Hans von Beneckendorf und Hindenburg (1847-1934) German soldier and statesman who was President of the German Republic (1925-1933).

Click here to start the recording.

Presented here is a recording of a radio commentary by Herb Morrison. He was commentating for WLS (Prairie Farmer's Station) and was amongst the people waiting to greet the Hindenburg. But as he is describing the scene to the listeners as the Zeppelin begins to land it bursts into flames. This is one of the most powerful and moving eye-witness recordings ever made as the journalistic skills of Herb Morrison compete with his obvious shock.

The quality of the recording varies and so we have a transcript of the recording here.

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