TODAY IN HISTORY: The First Parachute Jump (Oct. 22, 1797)
On October 22, 1797, André-Jacques Garnerin, a French innovator, climbed into a hot air balloon and rose 3000 feet over Paris. A crowd gathered to watch. Then, Garnerin climbed over the balloon’s basket and jumped. Behind him a large silken fabric trailed, then opened, filled with a rush of air. He floated to earth safely, the first parachutists. Later, his wife Jeanne-Geneviève would become the first female parachutist.