Faye Glenn Abdellah, pioneer nursing researcher, helped transform nursing theory, nursing care and nursing education. After receiving her nursing certificate from the Ann May School of Nursing and her Bachelor's, Master's, and Doctoral degrees in Education from Columbia University, Dr. Abdellah embarked on her distinguished career in health care. She was the first nurse officer to receive the rank of a two-star rear admiral. Her more than 150 publications, including her seminal works, Better Nursing Care Through Nursing Research and Patient-Centered Approaches to Nursing, changed the focus of nursing theory from a disease-centered to a patient-centered approach and moved nursing practice beyond the patient to include care of families and the elderly. Her Patient
Assessment of Care Evaluation method to evaluate health care is now the standard for the nation. Her development of the first tested coronary care unit has saved thousands of lives. As the first nurse and the first woman to serve as Deputy Surgeon General, Dr.
Abdellah developed educational materials in many key areas of public health, including AIDS, the mentally handicapped, violence, hospice care, smoking cessation, alcoholism, and drug addiction. Dr. Abdellah, after teaching at several prestigious universities, founded the Graduate School of Nursing at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences and served as the school's first dean. Beyond the classroom, Dr.
Abdellah presents workshops around the world on nursing research and nursing care. Dr.
Abdellah's work has been recognized with 77 professional and academic honors,
including the prestigious Allied Signal Award for her pioneering research in aging. She is also the recipient of eleven honorary degrees. As a leader in health care, she has helped transform the practice of nursing and raised its standards by introducing scientific research into nursing and patient care. Her leadership, her publications, and her
accomplishments have set a new standard for nursing and for women in the health care field.
The Hindenburg disaster took place on Thursday, May 6, 1937, as the German
passenger airship LZ 129 Hindenburg caught fire and was destroyed during its attempt to dock with its mooring mast at the Lakehurst Naval Air Station, which is located adjacent to the borough of Lakehurst, New Jersey. Of the 97 souls on board[N 1] (36 passengers, 61 crew), there were 35 fatalities as well as one death among the ground crew.
The disaster was the subject of spectacular newsreel coverage, photographs, and Herbert Morrison's recorded radio eyewitness report from the landing field, which was broadcast the next day. The actual cause of the fire remains unknown, although a variety of
hypotheses have been put forward for both the cause of ignition and the initial fuel for the ensuing fire. The incident shattered public confidence in the giant, passenger-carrying rigid airship and marked the end of the airship era.
• 1 Flight
o 1.1 Landing timeline
o 1.2 First hints of disaster
o 1.3 Disaster
o 1.4 Historic newsreel coverage
o 1.5 Death toll
• 2 Cause of ignition
o 2.1 Sabotage theory
o 2.2 Static spark theory
o 2.3 Lightning theory
o 2.4 Engine failure theory
• 3 Fire's initial fuel
o 3.1 Incendiary paint theory
o 3.2 Hydrogen theory
o 3.3 Puncture theory
• 4 Other controversial hypotheses
o 4.1 Structural failure
o 4.2 Fuel leak
o 4.3 Luger pistol among wreckage
• 5 Rate of flame propagation
• 6 Television investigations
• 7 Memorial
• 8 References in Media and Popular Culture
o 8.1 Television
o 8.2 Music
• 9 See also
• 10 References
• 11 External links
Post card carried on the D-LZ129 "Hindenburg" on its last flight and dropped enroute over Cologne (The Cooper Collections)
After opening its 1937 season by completing a single round trip passage to Rio de Janeiro in late March, the Hindenburg departed from Frankfurt on the evening of May 3rd on the first of its 10 round trips between Europe and the United States scheduled for its second year of commercial service. The United States, American Airlines, which had contracted with the operators of the Hindenburg, was prepared to shuttle fliers from Lakehurst to Newark for connections to airplane flights.
Except for strong headwinds which slowed its passage, the Hindenburg's crossing was otherwise unremarkable until the airship's attempted early evening landing at Lakehurst three days later on May 6. Although carrying only half its full capacity of passengers (36 of 70) and 61 crew members (including 21 training crew members), the Hindenburg's return flight was fully booked with many of those passengers planning to attend the festivities for the coronation of King George VI in London the following week.
The airship was hours behind schedule when it passed over Boston on the morning of 6 May, and its landing at Lakehurst was expected to be further delayed because of
afternoon thunderstorms. Advised of the poor weather conditions at Lakehurst, Captain Max Pruss charted a course over Manhattan, causing a public spectacle as people rushed out into the street to catch sight of the airship. After passing over the field at 4 p.m., Captain Pruss took passengers on a tour over the seasides of New Jersey while waiting for the weather to clear. After finally being notified at 6:22 p.m. that the storms had passed, the airship headed back to Lakehurst to make its landing almost half a day late.
However, as this would leave much less time than anticipated to service and prepare the airship for its scheduled departure back to Europe, the public was informed that they would not be permitted at the mooring location or be able to visit aboard the Hindenburg during its stay in port.
 Landing timeline
Around 7:00 p.m. local daylight saving time, at an altitude of 650 feet (200 m), the Hindenburg approached the Lakehurst Naval Air Station. This was to be a high landing, known as a flying moor, because the airship would be moored to a high mooring point, and then winched down to ground level. This type of landing maneuver would reduce the number of ground crew, but would require more time.
7:09: The airship made a sharp full speed left turn to the west around the landing field because the ground crew was not ready.
7:11: The airship turned back toward the landing field and valved gas. All engines idled ahead and the airship began to slow.
7:14: At altitude 394 feet (120 m), Captain Pruss ordered all engines full astern to try to brake the airship.
7:17: The wind shifted direction to southwest, and Captain Pruss was forced to make a second, sweeping sharp turn, this time towards starboard.
7:18: The airship made another sharp turn and dropped 300, 300 and 500 kg of water ballast in successive drops because the airship was stern heavy. Six men (three of whom were killed in the accident)[N 2] were also sent to the bow to trim the airship. These methods worked and the airship was on even keel as it stopped.
7:21: At altitude 295 feet (90 m), the mooring lines were dropped from the bow, the starboard line being dropped first, followed by the port line. The port line was
overtightened as it was connected to the post of the ground winch; the starboard line had still not been connected.
 First hints of disaster
At 7:25pm, a few witnesses saw the fabric ahead of the upper fin flutter as if gas were leaking. Witnesses also reported seeing blue discharges—possibly static electricity—
moments before the fire on top and in the back of the ship near the point where the flames first appeared. Several other eyewitness testimonies suggest that the first flame
appeared on the port side just ahead of the port fin, and was followed by flames which burned on top. Commander Rosendahl testified to the flames being "mushroom-shaped"
and knew at once that the airship was doomed. One witness on the starboard side reported a fire beginning lower and behind the rudder on that side. On board, people heard a muffled explosion and those in the front of the ship felt a shock as the port trail rope overtightened; the officers in the control car initially thought the shock was due to a broken rope.
At 7:25 p.m. local time, the Hindenburg caught fire and quickly became engulfed in flames. Where the fire started is unknown; several witnesses on the port side saw yellow-red flames first jump forward of the top fin, around the vent of cell 4. Other witnesses on the port side noted the fire actually began just ahead of the horizontal port fin, only then followed by flames in front of the upper fin. One, with views of the starboard side, saw flames beginning lower and farther aft, near cell 1. No. 2 Helmsman Helmut Lau also testified seeing the flames spreading from cell 4 into starboard.
Although there were five newsreel cameramen and at least one spectator known to be filming the landing, no camera was rolling when the fire started and therefore there is no motion picture record of where it first broke out at the instant of ignition.
Wherever it started, the flames quickly spread forward. Instantly, a water tank and a fuel tank burst out of the hull due to the shock of the blast. This shock also caused a crack behind the passenger decks, and the rear of the structure imploded. The buoyancy was lost on the stern of the ship, and the bow lurched upwards as the falling stern stayed in trim.
A rare surviving fire-damaged 9" duralumin cross brace from the frame of the
"Hindenburg" salvaged in May 1937 from the crash site at NAS Lakehurst, NJ. (The Cooper Collections)
As the Hindenburg's tail crashed into the ground, a burst of flame came out of the nose, killing nine of the 12 crew members in the bow. There was still gas in the bow section of the ship, so the bow continued to point upward as the stern collapsed down. A crack had formed behind the passenger decks during the initial fire, which now collapsed inward, causing the gas cell to explode. The scarlet lettering "Hindenburg" became erased by flames while the airship's bow lowered. The airship's gondola wheel touched the ground, causing the bow to bounce up slightly as one final gas cell burned away. At this point, most of the fabric on the hull had also burned away and the bow finally crashed to the ground. The ship was completely destroyed. Although the hydrogen had finished burning, the Hindenburg's diesel fuel burned for several more hours.
The time it took for the airship to be completely destroyed has been disputed. Some observers believe it took 34 seconds, others say it took 32 or 37 seconds. Since none of the newsreel cameras were filming the airship when the fire started, the time of the start of the fire can only be estimated from various eyewitness accounts, and will never be known accurately. One careful analysis of the flame spread, by Addison Bain of NASA, gives the flame front spread rate across the fabric skin as about 49 ft/s (15 m/s), which would have resulted in a total destruction time of about 16 seconds (245 m / 15 m/s = 16.3 s). Some of the duralumin framework of the airship was salvaged and shipped back to Germany where it was recycled and used in the construction of military aircraft for the Luftwaffe as were the frames of the LZ 127 Graf Zeppelin and LZ 130 Graf Zeppelin II as well when both were scrapped in 1940.
 Historic newsreel coverage
Main article: Hindenburg Disaster Newsreel Footage
The disaster is well recorded because of the significant extent of newsreel coverage and photographs, as well as Herbert Morrison's live coverage on-the-scene, eyewitness radio report being made from the landing field for station WLS in Chicago which was
broadcast the next day. Heavy publicity about the first transatlantic passenger flight of the year by Zeppelin to the U.S. attracted a large number of journalists to the landing. (The airship had already made one round trip from Germany to Brazil that year.) Parts of the Morrison report were later dubbed onto the newsreel footage and this gave the impression to many modern viewers, more accustomed to live television reporting, that the words and film were recorded together intentionally. Morrison's broadcast remains one of the most famous in history. His plaintive words, "Oh, the humanity!" resonate with the impact of the disaster, and have been widely used in popular culture. Part of the poignancy of Morrison's commentary is due to its being recorded at a slightly slower speed to the disk, so when played back at normal speed it seems to be at a faster delivery and higher pitch. When corrected, his account is less frantic sounding, though still impassioned.
It's practically standing still now they've dropped ropes out of the nose of the ship; and (uh) they've been taken ahold of down on the field by a number of men. It's starting to rain again; it's... the rain had (uh) slacked up a little bit. The back motors of the ship are just holding it (uh) just enough to keep it from...It's burst into flames! It's burst into flames and it's falling it's crashing! Watch it; watch it! Get out of the way; Get out of the way! Get this, Charlie; get this, Charlie! It's fire... and it's crashing! It's crashing terrible!
Oh, my! Get out of the way, please! It's burning and bursting into flames and the... and it's falling on the mooring mast. And all the folks agree that this is terrible; this is the one of the worst catastrophes in the world. [indecipherable] its flames... Crashing, oh! Four- or five-hundred feet into the sky and it... it's a terrific crash, ladies and gentlemen. It's smoke, and it's in flames now; and the frame is crashing to the ground, not quite to the mooring mast. Oh, the humanity! And all the passengers screaming around here. I told you; it—I can't even talk to people, their friends are out there! Ah! It's... it... it's a... ah!
I... I can't talk, ladies and gentlemen. Honest: it's just laying there, mass of smoking wreckage. Ah! And everybody can hardly breathe and talk and the screaming. Lady, I...
I... I'm sorry. Honest: I... I can hardly breathe. I... I'm going to step inside, where I cannot see it. Charlie, that's terrible. Ah, ah... I can't. Listen, folks; I... I'm gonna have to stop for a minute because [indecipherable] I've lost my voice. This is the worst thing I've ever witnessed.
— Herbert Morrison, describing the events, as transcribed for broadcast by WLS radio.
Spectacular motion picture footage and Morrison's passionate recording of the
Hindenburg fire shattered public and industry faith in airships and marked the end of the giant passenger-carrying airships. Also contributing to the Zeppelins' downfall was the arrival of international passenger air travel and Pan American Airlines.[N 3] Aircraft
regularly crossed the Atlantic and Pacific oceans much faster than the 130 km/h (80 mi/h)
of the Hindenburg. The one advantage that the Hindenburg had over aircraft was the comfort it afforded its passengers, much like that of an ocean liner.
There had been a series of other airship accidents, none of them Zeppelins, prior to the Hindenburg fire. Many were caused by bad weather, and most of these accidents were dirigibles of British or U.S. manufacture. Zeppelins had an impeccable safety record. The Graf Zeppelin had flown safely for more than 1.6 million km (1 million miles), including the first circumnavigation of the globe by an airship. The Zeppelin company's promotions prominently featured the fact that no passenger had been injured on one of their airships.
 Death toll
See also: List of passengers and crew aboard the final flight of LZ 129 Hindenburg This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding reliable references. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (March 2009)
Despite the violent fire, many of the crew and passengers survived. Of the 36 passengers and 61 crew, 13 passengers and 22 crew died. Also killed was one member of the ground crew, civilian linesman Allen Hagaman. The majority of the crew who died were up inside the ship's hull, where they either did not have a clear escape route or else were close to the bow of the ship, which hung burning in the air too long for most of them to escape the fire. Most of the passengers who died were trapped in the starboard side of the passenger deck. Not only was the wind blowing the fire toward the starboard side, but the ship also rolled slightly to starboard as it settled to the ground, with much of the upper hull on that part of the ship collapsing outboard of the starboard observation windows, thus cutting off the escape of many of the passengers on that side.[N 4] To make matters worse, the sliding door leading from the starboard passenger area to the central foyer and the gangway stairs (through which rescuers led a number of passengers to safety) jammed shut during the crash, further trapping those passengers on the starboard side.[N 5]
Nonetheless, some did manage to escape from the starboard passenger decks. A number of others did not. By contrast, all but a few of the passengers on the port side of the ship survived the fire, with some of them escaping virtually unscathed. Although the most famous of airship disasters, it was not the worst. Just over twice as many perished (73 of 76 on board) when the helium-filled U.S. Navy scout airship USS Akron crashed at sea off the New Jersey coast four years earlier on April 4, 1933.
Some of the survivors were saved by luck. Werner Franz, the 14 year-old cabin boy, was initially dazed by the realization that the ship was on fire. As he stood near the officer's mess where he had been putting away dishes moments before, a water tank above him burst open, and he was suddenly soaked to the skin. Not only did this snap him back to his senses, as he later told interviewers, but it also put out the fire around him. He then made his way to a nearby hatch through which the kitchen had been provisioned before the flight, and dropped through it just as the forward part of the ship was briefly
rebounding into the air. He began to run toward the starboard side, but stopped and turned around and ran the other way, because the flames were being pushed by the wind
in that same direction. He made it clear of the wreck with little more than singed
eyebrows and soaking wet clothes. Werner Franz is one of the two people aboard who are still alive as of 2008.
When the control car crashed on the ground, most of the officers had leapt through the windows, but became separated. First Officer Captain Albert Sammt found Captain Max Pruss trying to re-enter the wreckage to look for survivors. Pruss's face was badly burned, and he required months of hospitalization and reconstructive surgery, but he survived.
Captain Ernst Lehmann escaped the crash with burns to his head and arms and severe
Captain Ernst Lehmann escaped the crash with burns to his head and arms and severe