ALABAMA (WHNT) — At 2 p.m. on February 16, 1968, the very first 9-1-1 phone call was made – from of all places – Haleyville, Alabama.

Senator Rankin Fite dialed those three digits 55 years ago today. There was no emergency at the time, instead, the call was really a claim for bragging rights.

President of the Alabama Power Company at the time, B.W. Gallagher, had seen an article about AT&T’s plan to install a 911 system across the country. He immediately kicked into high gear to obtain all of the necessary approvals to beat them to the punch.

Gallagher was ultimately successful, as Fite rang into the Haleyville Police Station. The call was made from inside Mayor James Whitt’s office.

U.S. Representative Tom Bevill answered the call with “Hello” on the bright red telephone that had been installed at the police station just one week prior. Gallagher was standing nearby.

After that call, city leaders made an addition to the town’s city limits sign announcing the new number to call for emergencies.

Since then, 9-1-1 has been designated as the “Universal Emergency Number” for anyone in the United States to call for help in an emergency.

An estimated 240 million calls are made to 911 in the U.S. each year.

That brilliant red telephone had temporarily been displayed at the Smithsonian’s Museum of American History.

To learn more about the entirety of 911’s history, you can check out the National Emergency Number Association’s website here.