Although he first synthesized LSD on 16 November, 1938, it wasn’t until 16 April, 1943 when he first accidentally absorbed a small amount through his fingertips. The powerful effects he began to feel soon morphed into “an uninterrupted stream of fantastic pictures, extraordinary shapes with intense, kaleidoscopic play of colors.”

This accidental encounter encouraged the Swiss scientist to further test the drug – on himself. And that’s exactly what he did, three days later.

On April 19, 1943, Albert Hoffman, who had originally synthesized and accidentally absorbed LSD, intentionally ingested 0.25 milligrams of the substance.  Within an hour, he started to feel the effects and then asked his lab assistant to escort him home.

During this time in Switzerland, the country was on fuel rations which meant that most people traveled by bicycle. Unfortunately for Hoffman, this meant that he would be experiencing his first intentional LSD trip while riding a bike!

Once reaching his home, he rested in an attempt to calm his nerves that had been rattled due to the unfamiliar feeling of which the LSD created. After realizing that his life was in fact not in danger, Hoffman then began to actually enjoy the experience, as he was able to imagine concepts, shapes, and colors which he was previously never able to comprehend. 

Today, many psychedelic users and scientists look back on this story as the opening of doors to the psychedelic realm, in which humans could start to use the drug for beneficial purposes – both recreationally and professionally. 

Beyond the story, there have been dozens of books, art pieces, special interpretations, and even events created to memorialize the day.