On the face of it October 22 does not look to be a day of significance. Unless of course you log on to Google!

The playable doodle celebrates the 216th anniversary of the first parachute jump, by Frenchman André-Jacques Garnerin.

Carried out on this date in 1797 at the Parc Monceau in Paris, 28-year-old Garnerin rode a basket below a balloon and jumped from a height of 32,00 feet. He was using a seven-metre silk parachute.

The doodle lets users Garnerin’s jump by using the left and right arrow keys or by tilting to the right or left their smartphone and other devices.

Born on January 31, 1769, Garnerin studied physics and became an inspector in the French army.

A year after his historic jump, he announced a parachute flight with a female passenger on board. The jump was successfully completed with Citoyenne Henri on board.

Garnerin passed away on August 18, 1823, in an accident when he was hit by a beam while making a balloon in Paris.

abhishek.l@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on October 22, 2013)
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