Hoboken was the childhood home of Watergate Plumber G. Gordon Liddy:
“The section of Hoboken in which we lived had a large ethnic German and German national population. Families from all over Germany had been recruited by Nord Deutscher Lloyd and Hamburg Amerika to come to Hoboken to serve the swift German ocean liners Bremen and Europa that, together with numerous German freighters, docked on the New Jersey side of the Hudson, unlike the ships of Great Britain and France. There were also those families that had come to the United States to serve the giant dirigibles Germany built for the transatlantic run in competition with the great surface ships. . . .
“Since it wasn’t certain that the Hindenburg would pass directly over my backyard en route to Lakehurst as the Akron did four years before, and to ensure there could be no escape, nowhere to hide at the moment of truth, I chose to meet the monster on the grounds of Stevens Institute of Technology, an engineering college where I went to nursery school. Stevens, wide open with great lawns and playing fields, was high on the palisade behind our house and overlooked the Hudson River and the island of Manhattan. Others had the same idea, although, I am sure, for different reasons, and I had a good bit of company as I waited late one afternoon.
“First I heard her. That terrible sound could be nothing else. She was still miles away. The Akron had been unusual in that her engines were inboard, only her propellers were outside the skin of the airship. The Hindenburg’s four giant 1,100-horsepower Mercedes-Benz diesel engines were suspended from the exterior of her hull and could be heard from a much greater distance. On and on came the sound and my resolve seemed to wax and wane inversely with the sound of her engines. I caught myself praying she would turn off before coming up the Hudson far enough for me to see her, and I was condemning myself again for cowardice when she appeared. There was just one word for the Hindenburg: awesome.”
G. Gordon Liddy, Will