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Google commemorates world's first parachute jump with fun Doodle game

Oct. 22, 2013 at 1:23 AM ET

Google's Oct. 22 Doodle celebrates the first parachute jump, 216 years ago.
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Google's Oct. 22 Doodle celebrates the first parachute jump, 216 years ago.

Back on Oct. 22, 1797, a Frenchman called Andrew Garnerin became the first person known to jump with a parachute. Wouldn't he be proud to know his legacy is memorialized, 216 years later, by a keyboard-powered interactive Doodle from the world's largest search engine?

OK, there are about 15 words in there that Garnerin wouldn't even be able to comprehend, but why fight it? The two-key game is beautiful, if not quite as addictive as that darn piñata.

And about old Garnerin, here's a helpful article that tells you all you need to know: His first drop was from 3,000 feet, after he was brought aloft by hot-air balloon; he may have vomited all over the crowd below; his record jump height was around 8,000 feet; and he never once plummeted to his death, though his daredevil hobby did bring about his untimely demise — he was killed in a workshop mishap. There, feel smarter now?

Wilson Rothman is the Technology & Science editor at NBC News Digital. Catch up with him on Twitter at @wjrothman, and join our conversation on Facebook.

This article was updated at 11 a.m. ET Tuesday to reflect that it was a hot-air balloon that brought Garnerin up, not a hydrogen balloon. Thanks for the fact-checking (and history lesson), @fracmeister!

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