(Dover, NH) - I was really surprised to learn that the 3-digit Public Safety phone number started in 1968.

Don Briand photo

Before 1968, if you wanted help you dialed "O" for the operator, and more than likely got a busy signal. And when I say "dial", I mean using one of these antiques.
(Yes, I still have one in my home....and it works!)

In 1967, the government (FCC) turned to AT&T to help solve the problem, and they identified the unique number, short and simple, that would be answered 24/7, 365 days a year.

Congress approved, and  9-1-1 became the universal emergency code for the country.