Didier Masson (1886-1950) 1910 Curtiss-Willard Banshee Express, renamed "Pegasus" in 1911
It had been slightly more than seven years since the Wright Brothers flew the world's first powered flight at Kitty Hawk when a daring young barnstorming pilot attempted the first commercial flight in the country by flying from Los Angeles to San Bernardino with his unique cargo.
Didier Masson, a French pilot, took off from Los Angeles at 7:05 AM on January 7, 1911, with several bundles of the Los Angeles Times strapped to the wings of his biplane. The plane, renamed "Pegasus", was the 1910 Curtiss-Willard Banshee and was powered by an eight cylinder, 50 horsepower Hall-Scott engine.
Masson was to stop in Pomona on his way to San Bernardino. However, the pilot got lost and running low on fuel landed in a field near Cucamonga. Masson got a ride to Pomona where he picked up his ground crew and returned to his biplane. After refueling and repairing the landing gear, Masson took off and headed east. He landed at 12:40 PM at Association Park, located off Mill Street between Waterman and Tippiecanoe.
After lunch at the Elks Club, Masson planned to put on a brief aerobatics show at San Bernardino and then fly back to Pomona for a second performance. Unfortunately, he crashed on takeoff. Masson was uninjured, but his airplane was damaged and the pilot never returned to Pomona.
Masson may have arrived several hours later than expected, but he achieved an aeronautical first when he landed in San Bernardino with his cargo of newspapers. Masson went on to fly as a mercenary in the Mexican Revolution and then in the Lafayette Escadrille during World War I.
The San Bernardino Society of California Pioneers was formed on January 21, 1888. To become a member one had to be a male; a U.S. citizen; a resident of California before December 31, 1850; a resident of the County of San Bernardino at the time of its organization (April 26, 1853); or a male decedent of a person eligible for membership.
Over a period of time the pioneers build three log cabins to serve as a meeting place and a location to house historic document and artifacts. The first cabin was constructed in 1901 and the third and last cabin burned in 1973 destroying many historic items.
The San Bernardino Historical Society was formed in 1976 and in 1983 the two societies joined to become the San Bernardino Historical and Pioneer Society, with it's headquarters located at 8th and D Streets.
Click here to view a photo history of the Society.
Derek Parra won the gold medal in the 1,500 meter speed skating event at the Winter Olympics on February 19, 2002. His winning speed of 1:43.95 set a new world record (although it has since been broken, it is still an Olympic record).
Ten days before, while in Salt Lake City, Utah, Derek won the silver medal in the 5,000-meter race in the time of 6:17.98, an American record.
Derek was born in San Bernardino on March 15, 1970, and graduated from Eisenhower High School in Rialto. At 14 he started roller skating at San Bernardino's Stardust Roller Rink (21st and Lugo). He moved from roller skates to in-line skates and by 1996 Derek had earned 18 individual gold medals and had become the most decorated athlete at the 1995 Pan-American Games.
After switching to ice skates, Derek became the 2000 U.S. all-round overall champion, the 2001 U.S. national champion and the 2001 U.S. North American champion and won the silver medal in the 1,500 meter race at the 2001 World Single Distance Championships.
In 2002 he was one of eight athletes chosen to carry the flag that hung above Ground Zero in New York after the attack of September 11th.
Derek was chosen as the U.S. speed skating national all-around coach for the 2010 Olympics and is a member of the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports.
Derek Parra is the first-ever Mexican American to compete in, and medal, in the Olympic Winter Games. He now teaches at the Utah Olympic Oval's Learn to Skate program, the same oval in which he won gold.
* The USS San Bernardino, LST -1189, (named in honor of the City of San Bernardino) was commissioned on March 27, 1971.
* The ship was 522 feet long, 70 feet wide, had a top speed of 22 knots (25 mph) and was assigned the home port of San Diego, CA.
* Its crew consisted of 14 officers and 210 enlisted crew members.
* The ship carried 29 tanks & 350 combat troops while helicopters operated off the aft deck.
* The ship was armed with the 20mm Phalanx system and 2 twin 3-inch/50-caliber guns.
* The ship saw service in Vietnam and Desert Storm, was decommissioned on September 30, 1995, was sold to Chile and renamed Valdivia.
* Photographs and memoribilia from the ship and its crew can be seen in the San Bernardino History and Railroad Museum.
Offloading Its Cargo
* As the ship approaches shore or a landing dock, the bow of the ship will separate into two halves.
* A moveable ramp that has been stored on the ship's deck will be lowered to meet with the ground or dock.
* A fixed gantry extending upward and forward from the ship will use a series of steel cables to support the moveable deck.
* When in place the moveable deck will used to rapidly offload 29 tanks and 350 combat troops.