Profile America: The Internet Is Born

Sunday, October 30 — A technological breakthrough that has led to remarkable changes in American and global society occurred 47 years ago today … or yesterday, depending on your point of reference. While Americans in the Eastern and Central time zones entered October 30, 1969, it was around 10:30 p.m. Pacific time on October 29 that the first connection was made on what would become the Internet. The first two computers linked were at UCLA and the Stanford Research Institute — part of a Defense Department program called ARPANET. Within a year, 10 sites were connected, and in 1972, the now universal “@” symbol was selected to facilitate email. Today, over 85 percent of U.S. households have computers, and nearly 75 percent have Internet access at home.

Profile America is in its 20th year as a public service of the U.S. Census Bureau.


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