This day in 1968 marked the first time in history that a call was made to the number 911 in the USA. Earlier in U.S. history there was no unified number for all emergency situations at a national level.
In comparison, in London, the unified number 999 was introduced for emergency calls back in 1937. However, in the USA an initiative to introduce such a number appeared only in the 1950s, especially among the fire departments.
A solution was finally adopted in 1968, when the number 911 was selected as a better alternative to the British 999 because the former cannot be accidentally dialed by pressing the same button three times in a row. The European Union adapted the number 112, and it is interesting to know that modern mobile phones allow the dialing of the mentioned numbers even when locked.
The first call on this day originated from the city hall in Haleyville, Alabama, and was directed to the local police station. The call was actually a symbolic one, made by politician Rankin Fite from Alabama. It was received by U.S. congressman Tom Bevill, who allegedly simply said “Hello” upon picking up the phone.