Remembering the Hindenburg explosion in Lakehurst 80 years later
May 6, 1937 is the day of one of the most historical moments in New Jersey and even world history. It was 80-years ago Saturday the Hindenburg burst into flames and crashed near The Lakehurst Naval Air Station.
The Hindenburg was a passenger airship that mysteriously caught fire at 7:25 pm that night where 36 of the 97 people on board perished in the crash.
While historians debate the actual cause of the blaze, Navy Lakehurst Historical Society Director Carl Jablonski explains what he says may have been its downfall.
"It had 16-cells of gas which contained over seven-million cubic feet of hydrogen," said Jablonski.
He adds despite the somberness of this anniversary, there is some positive attributes of the Hindenburg, "because it came to America from Frankfurt and landed at Lakehurst, to this day Lakehurst still has the title of the first international airport."
The story of the Hindenburg crash lives on through its story passed down by generations and from the preservation of artifacts left astray from that historically tragic night.
Nevertheless Jablonski explains that this defining moment in New Jersey history lives on just about everywhere around the world.
"We are reaching a new generation of interested people of all ages, from all over the United States and overseas," said Jablonski.
He's encouraged by how many high school and college age students have such peak interest in something that made world history in Ocean County in 1937 and spans generations of NJ residents.
"It's amazing how something that happened 80-years ago is still so well remembered today," said Jablonski.
To commemorate the anniversary of the crash, the Historical Society will host two events this weekend to honor those fallen and keep alive the memories of that night.
Jablonkski explains that along with his group, he's helped organize a museum of artifacts from the crash at the base in Lakehurst of which you can see this weekend.
There's a dinner open to the public on Friday night at the Clarion Hotel on Route 37 in Toms River for $50.00 admission. It begins at 6 pm and features a cash bar before a 7 pm dinner start time.
The service will also feature special guests including people who once rode the Hindenburg.
On Saturday there will be a ceremony taking place at the base in Lakehurst at 6:45 pm.
"We will observe the actual event at the same site where it took place 80-years ago, on Joint-Base Lakehurst," said Jablonski.