1962 – The first batch of Rainbow Herbicides arrives in Vietnam

Give the US Army some credit: their solution to the fact that they were ill-trained for fighting in jungles was a simple one. They’d simply get rid of the jungle. While there was some earlier testing of herbicides in 1961, it wasn’t until 1962 that large scale deployment of the Rainbow Herbicides – Agents Pink, White, Purple, Green, Blue and (most infamously) Orange – began. Over the course of ten years, until 1971, nearly 20 million gallons of assorted herbicides would be used.

The policy was largely a failure at its stated goal, but it did do wonders for the bottom lines of various military contractors and led to a boom in birth defects among the children of soldiers and civilians exposed to it on both sides in the years to follow the war.

Referenced in:
Orange Crush — R.E.M.

1969 – Concorde makes its first trial flight

Concorde was the first supersonic aircraft designed expressly for passenger services (as opposed to military use).  Its design process was lengthy and filled with pitfalls, and in the end, only 20 of the aircraft were built.  This represented a substantial financial loss, particularly for the British and French governments, which had underwritten much of the design and development of Concorde.

The Concorde was faster than nearly any other passenger aircraft, and in its several decade service history, only one incident occurred which led to loss of life.  However, the aging of the planes, their general lack of modern comfort features and changing attitudes to passenger aircraft in the wake of the 9/11 attacks led to the withdrawal from service of Concorde, with the last passenger flights taking place in 2003.

Referenced in:
Concorde – Carmina