The Internet had its beginning after the Soviet Union launched their satellite Sputnik. The Pentagon's Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) wanted to maximize the use of computers for our national defense. Dr. J.C.R. Licklider was chosen to lead the research project. The job was originally offered to AT&T, but they saw no potential for profit in it and turned the offer down. Even computer companies resisted the idea at first that computers would ever be used for communication and so they didn't invest in the research and development of the Internet either. So it was left up to the universities that had computers to invent the technology, develop the programming, and build the network. Those universities were Stanford Research Institute, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, UCLA, and a few others.

After many trials and errors, the first email was exchanged in September of 1969 between the University of California, University of Utah, Stanford Research Institute, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Within only 10 years, the traffic on the ARPANET got so heavy, improvements in hardware and software had to be continuously upgraded. Personal computers eventually came onto the market in the 1980's and the Internet just kept growing.

For the first 20 years of its existence, the Internet was restricted to use by the military and universities only for the exchange of information. In 1992, U.S. Representative Frederick Boucher submitted a bill to Congress asking for the Internet to be opened to the people, without government restrictions, and President Bush signed it. The Internet has brought us into an information age where geographic boundaries no longer restrict communicaton with others.

Vannevar Bush sitting at a desk J.C.R. Licklider working on a project Photo of Paul Baran

Click on the pictures to go to my page about them.

Home page

Valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional

Valid CSS!