Sep 2, 1969:
First ATM opens for business
On this day in 1969, America's first automatic teller machine (ATM) makes its public debut, dispensing cash to customers at Chemical Bank in Rockville Center, New York. ATMs went on to revolutionize the banking industry, eliminating the need to visit a bank to conduct basic financial transactions. By the 1980s, these money machines had become widely popular and handled many of the functions previously performed by human tellers, such as check deposits and money transfers between accounts. Today, ATMs are as indispensable to most people as cell phones and e-mail.
Sep 2, 1959:
Ford introduces the compact, fuel-efficient Falcon
On September 2, 1959, at a news conference broadcast to viewers in 21 cities on closed-circuit television, Henry Ford II introduces his company's newest car--the 90-horsepower, 30 miles-per-gallon Falcon. The Falcon, dubbed "the small car with the big car feel," was an overnight success. It went on sale that October 8 and by October 9, dealers had snapped up every one of the 97,000 cars in the first production run.
Sep 2, 1973:
Lord of the Rings creator Tolkien dies
On this day in 1973, J.R.R. Tolkien, the author of the best-selling fantasy novels The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings--the source of the award-winning blockbuster movie trilogy directed, co-produced and co-written by Peter Jackson--dies at the age of 81 in Bournemouth, England. With legions of fans worldwide, The Lord of the Rings has had a significant impact on pop culture in the last century. It has also been adapted for radio, television and theater and has inspired video games, music and even a housing development. (Located in Bend, Oregon, and dubbed The Shire, the planned community of homes featuring unique stonework and artificial thatched roofs reportedly faced foreclosure in 2006.)
Sep 2, 1996:
Michael Jackson earns his 12th and final solo #1 with "You Are Not Alone"
The seventh child of a hard-driving father committed to turning his sons into superstars, a young Michael Jackson was pushed in front of the public at the tender age of five and told never to lose their attention. He succeeded beyond anyone's expectations, leading the Jackson 5 to stardom by the age of 12 before embarking on a solo career that would see him become nothing less than the most popular and successful solo male pop star of the modern era. On this day in 1996, he set a record that has since been surpassed only by one other performer, Mariah Carey: Jackson earned his 12th #1 hit as a solo artist when the R&B ballad "You Are Not Alone" debuted at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100.