Top 10 Digital Moments in U.S. History

In celebration of 4th of July, we wanted to recognize the most significant digital milestones in American history. We asked our team what they thought were the greatest inventions in technology over the course of our country’s history. Here’s what made the cut - happy birthday, America!


1.  March 10, 1876 – Alexander Graham Bell placed the very first phone call and patented the first telephone. (source)


2.  September 2, 1969 – The Internet was born. Packet switched networks, like Tymenet and Telenet, were developed in the late 60s and early 70s using a variety of protocols. Later, the network ARPANET led to the development of protocols for internetworking. (source)


3.  April 1, 1976 – Apple was founded. Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne established Apple, Inc., to sell the Apple I personal computer kit – which went on sale for a market price of $666.66 (estimated at $2,723 today). (source)


4.  September 19, 1982  - The first emoticon was used. Scott Fahlman was the first person to use the emoticons : - ) and : - ( used with the specific intent to convey emotion. (source)


5.  April 30, 1993 – The World Wide Web was opened to the general public. CERN Physicist Tim Berners-Lee created the WWW in 1990, however, it wasn’t revealed to the public until two years later. The first website, below, was introduced in August 1991. (source)


6.  October 13, 1994 – Internet Cookies were introduced. Netscape Communications was the first to introduce cookies as a solution to problems with implementing reliable “virtual shopping carts” on websites. (source)


7.  January 1996 – The research project, “Google”, began. It started as a research project by Larry Page and Sergey Brin while they were enrolled at Stanford University working on their PhDs. (More Google facts in our previous post here.) (source)


8.  February 4, 2004 – Facebook, or should we say “thefacebook”, joined the Internet. It all started with Mark Zuckerberg’s “Facesmash”, a website used to compare “the hotter person” among students at Harvard College. Inspired by an article about Facesmash in The Harvard Crimson, Mark Zuckerberg created the phenomenon that we now know as Facebook. (source)


9.  February 3, 2004 – Nebo was born! (Only kidding - just wanted to see how our logo looked in between Facebook's and Twitter's.)


10.  March 21, 2006 – The first “tweet” was published. Jack Dorsey had the initial idea of creating an SMS service to communicate with a small group, which evolved to the Twitter we know today. The original name for the platform was twttr (inspired by Flickr), and the first Twitter message read: (source)


Obviously, there are many more that could make the list. Which historical milestone do you think deserves top 10 digital innovation status? Share on Facebook or Twitter.

Written by Laura Rabushka on July 2, 2012


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Written by
Laura Rabushka