On this day, 31 years ago, Gregory Robertson intentionally committed to a 200-mph free fall to save an unconscious skydiver. From 13,500 feet, he saw fellow skydiver, Debbie Williams collide in mid air with a third parachutist knocking her unconscious. She was free falling to her death at speeds greater than 100 miles per hour. He immediately dove toward Earth and rolled himself into a ball to gain the speed needed to reach her and then spread out to slow down and make contact. “With seconds to spare as they hurtled groundward, he opened her chute and then his own — thus saving them both,” according to the Jackson Sun. (1987)
MORE Good News on this Day:
- The American Revolution began in Massachusetts at Lexington Common with the “shot heard round the world,” a skirmish that gave needed time to the militia at Concord to organize around the North Bridge where they turned back British troops under heavy rifle fire (1775)
- John Adams secured the Dutch Republic’s recognition of the United States as an independent government and opened his house in The Hague, Netherlands to become the first American embassy (1782)
- The Treaty of London established Belgium as a kingdom (1839)
- The first Boston Marathon was run (1897)
- The Swiss chemist Dr. Albert Hofmann became the first person to intentionally ingest LSD, a lysergic acid derived from fungus he discovered, which was used successfully for ten years in psychoanalysis—the date is commemorated as bicycle day for Albert’s psychedelic ride on his bike (1943)
- Volkswagen of America was founded in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey to standardize its dealer and service network in the U.S. (1955)
- Sally Ride was announced as the first woman astronaut in the space program, and Guinon Bluford as the first black (1982)
Also, Happy Birthday to Tim Curry, who turns 72 today. The British actor and singer is known for his work in theater, film and television, but especially for his break-out role in the 1975 cult classic, The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
Often portraying villainous roles or character parts, Curry was nominated for three Tony awards –for playing Mozart in Amadeus, and also for My Favorite Year and Spamalot. He suffered a stroke in 2012, and has been recuperating in a wheelchair.
Curry is also remembered for such movies as Clue and Home Alone 2, and his recurring roles in the TV series Criminal Minds and Will & Grace. WATCH a clip from the murder mystery-comedy, Clue, in which he plays the butler… (1946) –Photo taken in 2010, dahveed76