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“Firsts” are fun. Tracing history through the milestones of human achievement can be a fascinating ride, as you will find in Firsts: Origins of Everyday Things That Changed the World. Written by Wilson Casey, a trivia and FAQ expert, this book is an amazing collection of over 500 firsts on nearly every topic imaginable. From fashion to food, politics to science, entertainment to art, each first entry offers a full explanation of the topic, written in a humorous, yet authoritative style.
In 1926, the Maid-Rite Sandwich Shop in Springfield, Illinois, became the first drive-thru restaurant. Drivers pulled up to the window, told the cook what they wanted, and waited in their vehicles for their food to be prepared and handed out the window.
The first person buried on the moon was Eugene M. Shoemaker. On July 31, 1999, a small container holding 1 ounce of the astrogeologist’s ashes arrived near the south pole of the moon after a controlled crash.
The first Social Security check was issued to Ida May Fuller. Check number 00-000-001 was given to the 65-year-old on January 31, 1940, in the amount of $22.54.
The first Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition was published on January 20, 1964. Cover model Babette March wore a white two-piece bathing suit while standing in the surf off Cozumel, Mexico.
In February 1637, during the Dutch Golden Age, Dutch tulip contracts sold for more than 10 times the annual income of a skilled craftsman, and then suddenly collapsed. “Tulip mania” is generally considered the first recorded financial bubble.
The world’s first airline that operated with scheduled flights on airplanes, not zeppelins, was the St. Petersburg-Tampa (Florida) Airboat Line, which flew from January to May 1914. Passenger fare was $5 and each passenger was given a 200-pound allowance, including baggage.