206: The Birth of the Precursor of the Internet

ARPANET logical map circa 1977 (Image from The Computer History Museum via Wikimedia Commons)
ARPANET logical map circa 1977 (Image from The Computer History Museum via Wikimedia Commons)

Welcome to the Trivia Minute, your daily dose of history, facts and tidbits from TriviaPeople.com … I’m Marcus Michelson.

On this date in 1969, two computers were linked on ARPANET, a precursor of today’s Internet for the first time.

Here are some things you might know about the early days of computer networking.

ARPANET was named for the Advanced Research Projects Agency of the U.S. Department of Defense.

In 1968 Bob Taylor of ARPA drew up a plan to link computers at government-funded computer research sites in California and Utah.

The network was built in seven months and the first message was sent from UCLA to the Stanford Research Institute. The first message was intended to be the word “login,” but the network crashed after the first two letters, so the first message sent was “L-O.” The network connection was restored an hour later.

In December 1969, computers at the University of California, Santa Barbara and the University of Utah were connected as well. In 1970, a computer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology was connected. In 1973 Norway became the first country outside the U.S. to be connected to the network, followed shortly by a connection to London.

The first email using the “@“ symbol was sent via ARPANET in 1971.

In 1982, the National Science Foundation created the Computer Science Network, which expanded access to ARPANET. In 1985, the National Science Foundation Network connected more computers and along with ARPANET formed the backbone of today’s Internet.

In 1990, ARPANET was decommissioned, and the NSFNet was shut down five years later as the Internet was fully commercialized.

The World Wide Web was invented by Tim Berners-Lee in 1989, followed by the first web browser in 1990.

Our question, based on number of websites, what language, besides English, is the most common on the Web?

Today is Coronation Day in Cambodia and Republic Day in Turkey. It’s unofficially National Cat Day, National Oatmeal Day and National Hermit Day. It’s the birthday of painter Bob Ross, actor Richard Dreyfuss and actress Winona Ryder.


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