1. 1969: Chemical Bank installed the first ATM in the US
Chemical Bank is located in Rockville Center, New York, and on this date in 1969 they installed the first Automated Teller Machine, we know now as the ATM. It was a very basic machine that only had the ability to to dispense cash but still was an immediate hit. It wasn’t until 1971 that the first ATM was installed that could offer things like account balances and other basic transactions. The man generally credited for the invention of the ATM is Don Wetzel, who worked as an executive at a Dallas based company called Docutel, but there were also many other people involved. Docutel was responsible for creating automated baggage handling equipment so they were no stranger to that type of machine. ATM’s revolutionized the banking industry by the 1980s, they basically eliminated the need to go inside the bank for basic transactions like deposits, money transfers and so on. Its been reported that there are more than 1 million ATM’s currently in use worldwide, and every 5 minutes there is another one being activated.
2. 2013: Diana Nyad became the first person to swim from Cuba to Florida
On this date in 2013, 64 year old Diana Nyad became the first person to swim from Havana to Key West without the aid of a shark cage. It would take her around 53 hours to cross the 110 miles of dangerous waters. Not only did she have the sea-life to be concerned about, but strong currents and dangerous swells are very common in that area. Nyad knew this all too well as those strong currents threw her so far off course on her first attempt that she ended up having to abort. Her third attempt in 2011 had to be aborted due to severe Portuguese Man-of-War and jellyfish stings. When she set out on her fourth attempt, she was able to get further than she ever had before but a nasty storm and more than 9 jellyfish stings forced her to quit. When she set out on her fifth attempt on August 31st, 2013, she was bound and determined to make it.
3. 1944: George H.W. Bush got shot down during dive bomb attack
Long before he became President of the United States, George Herbert Walker Bush served in the Pacific theater of World War II. He served as a torpedo bomber pilot in the Navy and it was on this date in 1944 that while out on a bombing mission his plane was shot down. The squadron’s mission was on the Japanese Island of Chi Chi Jima when Bush’s plane encountered heavy anti-aircraft fire. Unfortunately the three other crewman onboard his plane were killed in the attack. However it was reported that even though his engine was on fire, Bush still managed to drop his payload and make a beeline back towards the San Jacinto aircraft carrier. He knew that he wasn’t going to make it back to the ship, but he at least wanted to get the plane over open water before bailing out. It took nearly four hours for a submarine crew to come to Bush’s rescue but he soon made it back to the San Jacinto. He continued to fly bombing missions, 58 in total, until he was later reassigned as a pilot trainer in December of 1944 and then honorably discharged in September of 1945.