45 Awesome ‘Firsts’ Few People Know About – Part 2

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1Stagecoach Mary

“Stagecoach Mary” was the first African-American woman mail carrier in the USA. She worked the route 8 years and never missed a day. She won the contract because she was the fastest applicant to hitch a team of 6 horses (she was 60 years old at the time).


2. The first successful C-section birth in which both mother and child survive was completed in 1826 by a woman named Margaret Ann Bulky who used a male surgeon alias (James Barry) to conduct the surgery. She was only discovered to be a woman postmortem.


3. An Italian astronaut named Luca Parmitano during a 6-hour spacewalk on the ISS, nearly became the first man to drown in space when his helmet began to inexplicably fill with water.


4. Reinhold Messner was the first man to summit Everest without oxygen, was also the first to summit all 14,8000m peaks, reaching those without oxygen as well.


5. The first woman to run for President of the United States was Victoria Woodhull in 1872, 50 years before women could vote. She had Frederick Douglass as her running mate and spent her election day in jail due to being arrested for obscenity.


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6First Nuclear Disarmed Nation

In the 1990s, the South African government dismantled all of its nuclear weapons becoming the first nation in the world which voluntarily gave up all nuclear arms it had developed itself.


7. In 2007, reigning Jeopardy! champion Scott Weiss purposely placed his final bet in such a way as to force the first three-way tie in the game’s history. He said he knew he could have bet more and won the game, but thought it would be fun to force a tie instead.


8. Wilma Rudolph had polio as an infant and was unable to walk properly until she was 11. For several years, her family had to massage her legs four times a day, and she had to wear a metal brace. In 1960, she became the first American woman to win three gold medals in an Olympic event.


9. One of the earliest application of the concept of “women and children first” was during the sinking of HMS Birkenhead in 1852. There were not enough lifeboats and the soldiers stood firm on board even as the ship broke up, allowing the women and children to board the boats safely and escape the sinking.


10. When NASA was preparing for Sally Ride to travel as the first American female astronaut, engineers initially were at a loss about how many tampons to send. “Is 100 the right number?” they asked her. “No. That would not be the right number,” she replied.


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11Manchester Teen

A depressed Manchester teen used several fake online personas to convince his best friend to murder him, and after surviving the attack, he became the first person in UK history to be charged with inciting their own murder.


12. Science has shown that the egg came first, not the Chicken. The first egg was laid by a bird that was not a chicken. The first amniotic (hard-shelled) egg laid on land was around 312 million years ago. Chickens however were domesticated 8000 years ago from a bird named red junglefowl.


13. The first ever science fiction novel, ‘A True Story’ was written in the 2nd century AD. The novel includes travel to the outer space, flying to the Moon, alien life forms, interplanetary warfare and continents across the ocean.


14. When the territory of Wyoming applied to join the US, congress told them they’d have to stop letting women vote. Their response was, “we will remain out of the Union one hundred years rather than come in without the women”. In 1890 they joined as the first and only state to allow women to vote.


15. Discovery Channel survival expert Ed Stafford wanted to be the first person to walk the length of the Amazon River from source to sea. He thought it might take a year, but the actual endeavor took him 860 days to accomplish.


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16First Female Mayor

In 1887 a group of men added Susanna M. Salter to the mayoral ballot of Argonia, Kansas, as a prank to discourage women from running for office. She then won by a 2/3 majority and became America's first female mayor.


17. In 2013, Metallica became the first band to perform on all seven continents by performing live and un-amplified (to protect the environment) in Antarctica.


18. Ham the chimp who was the first hominid in space was trained by NASA to operate a capsule in space. His trainer described the moment he was recovered from his capsule following the project as, “I have never seen such terror on a chimp’s face.”


19. The first U.S. gold rush started in North Carolina in 1803 when a 12-year-old boy found a 17-pound gold nugget on his father’s farm. This gold rush supplied all the gold for the nation’s mints until 1829.


20. The first known recording of a human voice was made in 1860, but was only intended to show a sound wave visually, not to be played back. In 2008, it was optically scanned and converted to a sound file, revealing it to be a man singing “Au clair de la lune.”


21First Interracial Kiss on TV

The first black-white interracial kiss on American television was on an episode of Star Trek. However, the producers were worried about the show being banned in the South because of it, and tried to shoot alternate versions of the shot. The actors intentionally flubbed those shots.


22. Eminem’s song “Lose Yourself” was the first rap song to win an Oscar for Best Original Song, but Eminem did not even watch the awards because he did not think he stood a chance at winning. Instead, he fell asleep watching cartoons with his daughter.


23. When Elizabeth Blackwell, the first female recipient of a medical degree in the U.S., applied to Hobart College, the dean decided to hold a vote in the class she was applying to. If just one of the 150 male students objected, she would be rejected. All the 150 young men voted to accept her.


24. The USA had a lesbian First Lady in 1885-1886. She was Rose Cleveland, Grover Cleveland’s youngest sister and acting US First Lady before Grover married in 1886. She was a lesbian and had a relationship with a wealthy widow named Evangeline Marrs Simpson, with explicitly erotic correspondence.


25. The earliest form of smallpox immunization was used in China in the 1500s. Doctors would take ground up scabs from people with mild cases of the disease, and blow the material into their nostrils. This lead to a mild version of the disease which had a mortality rate of ~2%.(20-30% if untreated).

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