75 Years Since the Hindenburg Disaster

Last Sunday, May 6, marked the 75th anniversary of the 1937 Hindenburg disaster. The massive German airship caught fire while attempting to land near Lakehurst, New Jersey, killing 35 people aboard, plus one ground crew member. Of the 97 passengers and crew members on board, 62 managed to survive. The horrifying incident was captured by reporters and photographers and replayed on radio broadcasts, in newsprint, and on newsreels. News of the disaster led to a public loss of confidence in airship travel, ending an era. The 245 m (803 f) Hindenburg used flammable hydrogen for lift, which incinerated the airship in a massive fireball, but the actual cause of the initial fire remains unknown. Gathered here are images of the Hindenburg's first successful year of transatlantic travel, and of its tragic ending 75 years ago. (Also, be sure to see Recovered Letters Reveal the Lost History of the Hindenburg on Atlantic Video.)

Read more
Hints: View this page full screen. Skip to the next and previous photo by typing j/k or ←/→.
Jump to Comments

Most Recent

  • Robert MacFarlane/AP

    Photos of the Week: 4/11-4/17

    This week, we have images of a visit to Coachella, raging fires in Siberia, Yazidi New Year celebrations, a burning Boeoegg in Zurich, the World Pole Dance Championships in Beijing, a gyrocopter on the the lawn of the U.S. Capitol, the Paris Marathon, a robot from the new Star Wars movie, bubbles in Egypt, and much more.

  • Kim Hong-Ji/Reuters

    The Cherished Empty Bedrooms of the Sewol Ferry Victims

    Tomorrow will mark the one-year anniversary of the sinking of the ferry Sewol off the coast of South Korea, and the loss of more than 300 people, including 250 students. Some of the families of those students have kept their children’s bedrooms intact to remember and honor their loved ones.

  • Reuters

    And Then There Was One

    Across China, where new developments are keeping pace with the rapidly growing economy, reports continue to surface so-called "nail houses."

  • Louisa Gouliamaki/AFP/Getty Images

    The Vrontados Rocket War

    Every year, during Greek Orthodox Easter celebrations, members of rival churches sitting across a small valley stage a traditional "rocket war" by firing thousands of homemade rockets towards each other while services are held in the Greek village of Vrontados.

Join the Discussion