1943 — The first intentional acid trip is taken

It was supposed to be a headache cure.

What Dr Albert Hofmann and his assistants were searching for, in their lab in Berne, Switzerland, was a better cure for the common headache. It was originally synthesized on November 18, 1938, but it seemed a failure, and was put aside. Hofmann barely gave it another thought, but five years later, he decided to give it another look.

Examining it, he accidentally dosed himself with an unknown quantity on April 16, 1943. The effects he experienced are now very familiar, even to those who’ve never directly felt them, and although it took him some time, he figured out what had happened. Three days later, he took the first ever deliberate acid trip, ingesting 250 micrograms, and experienced similar effects. Famously, he rode his bike home from the lab while feeling the effects, which is why this day is sometimes referred to as Bicycle Day by the kind of people who think acid’s pretty cool.

Referenced in:
Oh My Beautiful Problem Child — Intercontinental Music Lab

Happy Bicycle Day, everyone!

1973 — Timothy Leary is arrested in Afghanistan

Tim Leary had been free for a couple of years when the feds caught up with him in Afghanistan. He’d broken out of the California state prison where he’d been sent, and knocked around the world for a couple of years looking for a place to stay. He’d even been placed under “revolutionary arrest” by Eldridge Cleaver in Algeria, although not for long.

The United States did not, at that time, have an extradition treaty with Afghanistan, and Leary’s arrest there was as controversial as anything else about the man. He was busted while disembarking from a plane, which according to treaty was supposedly US territory.

They brought him back home and dropped him into solitary at Folsom, in the cell next Charlie Manson. The two did not get along at all, as murderers and pacifists so frequently don’t.

Referenced in:
Broadway Melody Of 1974 — Genesis

1938 – Albert Hofmann accidentally discovers LSD

Albert Hoffman was a chemist working for Sandoz Laboratories in Basel when he discovered LSD-25. He had been researching lysergic acid derivatives, hoping to find a stimulant for the respiratory and circulatory systems with fewer birth defects than existing drugs. On the day, he was disappointed in the substance he had created, and moved on to other work.

It would be five years until he returned to it and, accidentally absorbing some of it via his fingertips, had the world’s first acid trip.

Referenced in:

Oh My Beautiful Problem Child — Intercontinental Music Lab