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Hughes ends record-setting round-the-world flight in New York


On this day in 1938, Howard Hughes and a four-man crew landed their specially equipped Lockheed 14 in New York City, having circled the globe in three days, nineteen hours, and seventeen minutes. Along the way, they cut in half Charles Lindbergh's record for crossing the Atlantic. Hughes, born in Houston in 1905, inherited a fortune when he was orphaned at the age of eighteen. He moved to Hollywood in the 1920s to produce, and then direct, movies such as Hell's Angels (1930) and Scarface (1932). An aviation enthusiast since boyhood, he formed the Hughes Aircraft Company in the 1930s as a division of Hughes Tool Company and set two speed records as a pilot. In the 1940s, he landed several contracts to produce military aircraft, but with mixed results, as in the case of the famous HK-1 flying boat (the "Spruce Goose"). He remained active in the film and aeronautics industries in the 1950s and 1960s, but by 1970 he had become increasingly reclusive and conducted most of his business through memos. He died in 1976 on a plane from Acapulco, Mexico to Houston.

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