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Happy Birthday, Internet! The First Internet Message Was Sent From UCLA 42 Years Ago Today (And It Crashed Halfway Through)

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Today UCLA is going to be having a little shin-dig to celebrate a very historic occasion: 42 years ago today someone sent a message on the internet for the very first time. Of course, the internet crashed halfway through and only the first two letters of the message "login" made it.

So tell your geeky friends who spend all day on the internet (oh wait, that's everyone nowadays) "lo."

But if you can peel yourself away from the fruits of these early experimenters' labors for a moment, you can drop by UCLA today where some of the internet's early pioneers will be hanging out and talking about what those early heady days were like. The event is going on from 1pm until 3pm. Professor Leonard Kleinrock and his grad student Charlie Kline, who sent the first message from Boelter Hall 3420 to the Stanford Research Institute, will be there.

Here's a note from the event's organizers:

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The pioneers are going to give some great talks about what it was like to live and work on the early, early Internet — perhaps even a discussion of the first illegal act committed online by the man himself. Also for discussion is a talk about what it was like to make the first connection, by the man who typed it in, and how the young network went international. They'll all be wearing nametags so you can talk to them!

The event is going to be held on hallowed ground at the Kleinrock Internet Heritage Site which just opened this year. The UCLA Bruin did a story on the new center and how the early history and archives of the internet have been pretty neglected up until this point. Kleinrock offered up the primordial hardware to the Smithsonian in 1984, but they turned it down. Later on they asked if they could have it, but they wouldn't promise to display it so Kleinrock kept it for UCLA.

Kleinrock told the Bruin that the contents of the first messages sent over the phone, over the telegraph and even from the moon are widely known, but not the first message sent over the Internet. "Not only that, but until recently nobody had even asked the question of what that first message was," Kleinrock told the paper.

If you miss the party today, you can head over to the heritage site anytime during its regular hours.