America is often referred to as a land of opportunity and as the birthplace of some of the most important breakthroughs in the world. The US has served as a marker of human potential throughout history. Just look at these firsts as example!
Going old school
The oldest college in the US (and one of the oldest in the world), Harvard University, was founded in Boston in 1636.
On the rails
On May 10, 1869, the Central Pacific and Union Pacific Railroads joined at Promontory, Utah, to form the first transcontinental railway system.
The first skyscraper in the world was built in 1885 in Chicago. It stood just ten stories tall.
First in flight
In 1921, Bessie Coleman became the first African American female to pilot a plane.
American physicist Isidor Rabi first measured a nuclear magnetic resonance (a predecessor to MRI technology) in 1938 and received a Nobel prize.
Finding a cure
In 1953, researcher Jonas Salk successfully tested the polio vaccine, contributing to millions of lives saved.
On August 20, 1969, two American astronauts—Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin—became the first people to walk on the moon.
On the line
Motorola employee Martin Cooper made the first-ever mobile phone call from Midtown Manhattan in 1973.
Apples to apples
In October 2001, American technological pioneer Steve Jobs presented the first iPod to the world at the Macworld Conference and Expo in San Francisco.