Hi I'm Molly Wood it's April 19, 2008. Here's what happened today in tech history.
In 1892 Charles Duryea claims to have driven the first automobile in the United States, in Springfield, Massachusetts. Charles and his brother Frank were originally bicycle makers before becoming automobile pioneers. One of their early cars was involved in the first known Auto accident.
Also on this date in 1919, although he broke his ankle on the landing, Leslie Irvin of Los Angeles made the first successful voluntary free-fall parachute jump using a new kind of self-contained parachute (I wonder who made the first involuntary free fall parachute jump?) Previous parachutes were stored attached to the plane in canisters rather than in packs on the jumper's backs. Leslie started out as a stunt man for the fledgling California film industry of the 1920's and eventually joined the Army Air Corps's parachute team. He also designed and manufactured the classic sheepskin flying jacket, you know, the bomber jacket.
Another HUGE development on this date in 1943 - Swiss chemist Dr. Albert Hofman deliberately takes LSD for the first time and discovers its psychadelic effects. Years before he had done experiments with the drug on lab animals, but while noting that the animals became 'restless,' no other extraordinary benefits were identified. April 19th is known as 'Bicycle Day' because Dr. Hoffman rode home on his bike while he was tripping pretty hard, and right before he called his doctor and asked 'WTF?'
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