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Why was Newton's observation of the falling apple so significant?

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Why was the falling apple so significant?

As described in this article at Wikipedia, in 1666, Newton was in a garden when he noticed an apple falling. Surely, Newton could not have been the first person to notice that things fell when dropped. I'm sure many gardeners saw that happen and I found evidence from old stories about Galileo Galilei dropping items from towers and other stories about people struggling to build winged machines which seem proof enough that people noticed that things tend to go down. So why was Newton's observation of this behavior so much more significant?