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Mr. SALMON. Mr. Speaker, today I wish to pay tribute to a highly respected American company: The Boeing Company. This July marks 100 years since William E. Boeing founded the business after he turned a small building he bought in Lake Union, Washington into a combined factory and seaplane hangar. In its centennial year, Boeing continues to prosper as the world's largest aerospace company and the largest manufacturing exporter in the United States. Today I wish to congratulate the company on its 100th anniversary.
Most people know Boeing for its long tradition in aerospace initiative and innovation, but behind its reputation is a corporation fueled by a legendary American entrepreneur and engineer: William E. Boeing.
William E. Boeing experienced many setbacks before becoming successful. In fact, when Boeing was only 22 years old, he dropped out of Yale. Even though it was risky, he moved to Washington to start in the logging business on land that he had inherited. Although Boeing started to buy more timberland and gain more wealth for his family, he was never cut out for the meticulous, reserved life of a logger.
As he continued his logging business, he decided to attend an aviation meet in Los Angeles in 1910. At the meet, he became enthralled with airplanes and tried to get a ride on one of the boxy airplanes, but had no success. In 1914, flier Terah Maroney brought a Curtiss-type hydroplane with him when he visited Boeing and his friend, U.S. Navy Lieutenant G. Conrad Westervelt. The pair took turns riding with Maroney above Lake Washington and after a few turns, the two realized that they could build a better airplane.
On July 15, 1916, William Boeing incorporated the Pacific Aero Products Company and just four months later, Boeing and Westervelt had the first test flight of their first plane. The seaplane/biplane was the Bluebill, B&W Model 1. The plane flew 900 feet, marking the beginning of the largest aerospace company in the world. One year later, the company was renamed Boeing Airplane Company.
Boeing helped America get through the hard times. During the Great Depression, the company and other airlines formed the United Airlines to provide continent-wide U.S. air service. In World War II, Boeing provided planes that helped the Allies defeat the Axis power. Today, they help America through yet another battle: the War on Terror.
To fight the War on Terror, Boeing supplies us with a number of tools for our defense. One of these great tools is the AH-64 Apache Helicopter. Entering service with the United States Army in 1984, the AH-64 Apache Helicopter is the primary multirole combat helicopter for the U.S. Army and for a growing number of our allies' defense forces. The Apache was built to fight our enemies during the day or night in adverse weather conditions and challenging battlefields.
These helicopters have been used in Operation Desert Storm, Operation Anaconda, and continue to be used for peacekeeping operations in order to fight terrorism around the world. I am honored that Boeing uses its plant in Mesa, Arizona, to produce these revolutionary fighting helicopters for America's defense.
The company has had a tremendous impact both nationally and globally, and this impact is seen in Arizona. In my state, the Boeing Company works with 387 businesses and supports 46,000 employees with 3,851 of those being direct employees. Boeing has also given millions in charitable contributions to our state and has created jobs and economic opportunity while working to create the world's most advanced and innovative aerospace products and services.
Today, the Boeing Company continues its success under the leadership of Chairman, President, and CEO Dennis A. Muilenburg. Passion and competence hold this venerable company together, while innovation drives it further. As the company celebrates its centennial year, the passion and spirit of William E. Boeing lives on as Boeing continues its long tradition of leadership and innovation in aerospace. May it have one hundred more.
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