40 YEARS AGO: PUSHING YOUR BUTTONS
Dialing goes futuristic as AT&T introduces TouchTone service and push-button telephones. Callers can push the phones' ten keys (* and # are added in 1968) faster than they can dial a rotary phone, and the electronic switching system means more automated service. If you want your old phone back, press 1 now.
50 YEARS AGO: SKYROCKET IN FLIGHT
Flying a Douglas D-558-2 Skyrocket, test pilot A. Scott Crossfield becomes the first person to zoom past Mach 2—twice the speed of sound—on November 20, 1953. The former Navy fighter pilot takes the experimental rocket-propelled plane to 1,291 mph in a dive from 72,000 feet over California's Edwards Air Force Base. In 1960, Crossfield will be the first to fly at Mach 3 and live.
75 YEARS AGO: MOUSE MAGIC
Mickey Mouse and Walt Disney hit the big time with the November 18, 1928, première of Disney's first sound cartoon, Steamboat Willie. The struggling Disney has not found a market for two earlier silent Mickey films, but everything changes when the characters' movements are synchronized to songs, growls and squeaks. Mickey will star in more than 100 cartoons and spawn a TV show and fan club. By 2002 Disney will have become a $25 billion corporation.
100 YEARS AGO: THE ONE TENOR