Today in History, June 18

WikipediaThe three-man Soviet crew with the ambassador after being received by FDR in the White House. From left to right: Georgy Baidulov, co-pilot; Valery Chkalov, pilot; the ambassador; and Alexander Belyakov, navigator.

Seventy-six years ago today, on June 18, 1937, the first non-stop flight from Russia to North America via the North Pole took off from Shchyolkovo aerodrome in Moscow region. The flight, which lasted more than 15 hours, was undertaken in extremely dangerous conditions. The three-man Soviet crew were personally congratulated by Franklin D. Roosevelt in the White House.