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Wednesday, January 15, 2014 - 10:49am

5 Years Ago Sully Landed On The Hudson And Twitter Took Off

Updated: 11 months ago.
Jan. 15, 2009: As the U.S. Airways jet they had been on sinks into the Hudson River, passengers are rowed away. This isn't the iconic (and now copyrighted) photo that helped transform Twitter. But it does give a sense of what it was like that day, 5 years ago.

This day shouldn't pass without a mention of the "miracle on the Hudson."

It was Jan. 15, 2009, when U.S. Airways Flight 1549 took off from LaGuarida Airport in New York, struck some birds on its way into the sky, lost both engines and was then successfully guided to a safe landing in the Hudson River off Manhattan by Capt. Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger and co-pilot Jeff Skiles.

All 155 people on board were saved.

"It was one of those events, in the first couple of seconds, I knew it was going to be unlike anything I had ever experienced," Sullenberger said Wednesday on CBS This Morning. "It was going to define my life into before and after."

Sullenberger, other crew members and passengers are in New York City today for a ceremony to mark the occasion.

The other thing that arguably changed dramatically on that day, at least in many people's minds, is Twitter. CNBC calls the day "Twitter's defining moment."

The miracle on the Hudson, says CNBC, "helped Twitter become the social media powerhouse it is today, and the now-public company has Janis Krums to thank. 'There's a plane in the Hudson. I'm on the ferry going to pick up the people. Crazy.' Krums tweeted along with a photo to his 170 followers. Exactly 32 minutes later, the man who first reported 'The Miracle on the Hudson' was interviewed live on MSNBC.

"It changed everything," Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey told CNBC in 2013. "Suddenly the world turned its attention because we were the source of news and it wasn't us, it was this person in the boat using the service, which is even more amazing."

Krums has retweeted his now-copyrighted photo today with this message:

"5 Year Anniversary of The Miracle on Hudson - Congrats to @Captsully on his miraculous landing. A true hero. pic.twitter.com/hpOdRtbViR"

He's also posted on Mashable about the experience. Despite winning fame on social media, he says he's also learned that "the truly meaningful conversations happen offline."

(H/T to Korva Coleman.)

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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