28 Distinct & Famous ‘First’ In Human History That Changed the World

11Annie Taylor

Annie Taylor was the first person to successfully descend Niagara Falls. She used a custom barrel stuffed with a mattress. She tested it by sending a cat over the falls. It survived and 2 days later she made the journey on her 63rd birthday.


12Roald Amundsen

Roald Amundsen who was the first person to reach both poles was also the first person to reach each pole. He was the first to reach the South Pole first in 1910, and also the first to reach (verified and credibly) the North in 1926.


13Britney Gallivan

Britney Gallivan, a high school girl became the first person to fold a paper in half 12 times. She also derived the mathematical equation that describes the limit of paper folding.


14Samuel Caldwell

Samuel Caldwell was the first person in America to be arrested for selling marijuana. He was arrested in 1937 for selling two joints and was sentenced to a $1000 fine and four years of hard labor. This happened in one of the only places in America where pot is legal today, Denver, Colorado.


15Satoshi Furukawa

Satoshi Furukawa, who was the first Japanese person to go into space, was a heavy smoking, whiskey-drinking, middle-aged news anchorman.


16Joseph Hary Neesima

The first Japanese to obtain a bachelor's degree was a 21-year-old named Joseph Hary Neesima who snuck a ride to America aboard a U.S. ship in 1864. The ship's captain had to hide him from Japanese customs officials, as Japan still had the death penalty for anyone who traveled abroad without permission.


17Louis Le Prince

Louis Le Prince was actually the first person to invent a motion picture camera, 3 years before Thomas Edison, but was not able to publicly showcase the device as when he was going to retrieve it, he entered a train and was never seen again.


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18John Michell

John Michell is called both the father of seismology and the father of magnetometry. “One of the greatest unsung scientists of all time”, he was the first person known to propose the existence of black holes and that earthquakes travel in waves. No one knows what he looked like.


19Gilda Radner

Gilda Radner was the first person to say "b*tch" on television. The censors let her get away with it because she was portraying a "sweet, nice old lady."


20Gertrude Ederle

Gertrude Ederle became the first woman to swim the English channel in 1926, beating the previous time record by nearly 2 hours. The first person to greet Ederle as she came ashore on Kingsdown beach was a British immigration officer who requested to see her passport.

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