And now a page from our "Sunday Morning" Almanac: October 22nd, 1797, 220 years ago today … the day Frenchman Andre-Jacques Garnerin cut loose from a balloon 3,000 feet above Paris and drifted down to Earth in a basket underneath his own homemade parachute.
Garnerin survived the world's first documented high-altitude jump, and went on to make many more, before dying in an accident on the ground.
And what started as one daredevil's personal stunt had become serious business by the time World War II came around, when American parachutists fought from Port Moresby in New Guinea to North Africa.
Civilians could experience similar, if somewhat tamer, thrills on the world-famous Coney Island parachute jump, which operated until 1964.
These days, of course, just about anyone with the right training and supervision can share in the excitement of parachuting.
Exhibit One: Former President George H.W. Bush, who famously jumped to celebrate his 80th, 85th, and 90th birthdays.
How many of us hope to make a similar claim?