20th Century: 1972

Jan. 5, 1972: U.S. President Richard Nixon announces that NASA is developing a reusable launch vehicle, the space shuttle.

Atari was founded on June 27, 1972.

Computers built after 1972 are often called “fourth-generation” computers.

The programming language C developed at The Bell Laboratories in the USA.

Intel introduced the 8008 processor on April 1, 1972.

It is an 8-bit CPU with an external 14-bit address bus that could address 16 KB of memory.

The first video game console called the Magnavox Odyssey is demonstrated on May 24, 1972, and later released by Magnavox and sold for USD 100.00.

Magnavox Odyssey – Evan-Amos / Public domain

The first scientific pocket calculator, the HP-35, is introduced.

Atari released Pong, the first commercial video game, on November 29, 1972.

Pong cabinet signed by Pong creator Allan Alcorn in the ‘Golden Age of Video Games’ exhibit at Neville Public Museum in Green Bay, Wisconsin. – Chris Rand / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)

Dec. 19, 1972: Apollo 17, the last mission to the moon, returns to Earth.

The Apollo 17 Space Vehicle sits poised beneath a full moon on Launch Pad 39A during the launch countdown. Astronauts Eugene A. Cernan, Commander; Ronald A. Evans, Command Module Pilot; and Dr. Harrison H. Jack Schmitt, Lunar Module Pilot, will be the crew for the sixth manned lunar landing mission.

1972: The first broadcast of M*A*S*H, Emmerdale, Mastermind, The Bob Newhart Show, Great Performances, and Maude.

Home Box Office (HBO) launched at 7:30 p.m. Eastern Time on November 8, 1972. The service’s inaugural program and event telecast, a National Hockey League (NHL) game between the New York Rangers and the Vancouver Canucks from Madison Square Garden (part of a long-term agreement to broadcast sports events based at the Manhattan arena), was transmitted that evening over channel 21—its original assigned channel on the Teleservice system—to its initial base of 365 subscribers in Wilkes-Barre.

HBO First Logo – WarnerMedia / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)



20th Century: 1971

DND beginnings. Let us discuss this book. By Source (WP: NFCC#4), Fair use.

Gygax and Perren’s set of medieval miniatures rules from the Castle & Crusade Society newsletter The Domesday Book brought Gygax to the attention of Guidon Games, who hired him to produce a “Wargaming with Miniatures” series of games. Towards the end of 1970, Gygax worked with Don Lowry to develop the first three products for the new Guidon Games wargames line. Among the three was a pamphlet of medieval rules entitled Chainmail which adopted much of the medieval rules published in the Domesday Book. Late in the development process, Gygax added to the end of Chainmail fourteen pages of a “Fantasy Supplement” which detailed the behavior of Heroes, Wizards, dragons, elves, and various other fantastic creatures and people.

The first edition Chainmail saw print in March 1971. It quickly became Guidon Games’ biggest hit, selling one hundred copies per month. A second edition would follow in July 1972, with several expansions and revisions to the original game. The January 1972 issue of the International Wargamer initially published the most significant of these changes, including the splitting of the “Wizard” type into four distinct levels of spell casters.

IBM shipped the first units of Noble’s solution, the 23 FD “Minnow” in 1971. The 8-inch floppy disk drive with removable read-only, flexible “memory disks” offered a storage capacity of 80 kilobytes (KB), approximately 3,000 punched cards.

While at Intel, Dov Frohman invented and patented (#3,660,819) the EPROM in 1971.

Ray Tomlinson sends the first e-mail, the first messaging system to send messages across a network to other users.

The computer gets a voice, IBM introduces its first speech recognition program capable of recognizing about 5,000 words.

FTP was first purposed on April 16, 1971, by Abhay Bhushan of MIT in RFC 114.

Nolan Bushnell and Ted Dabney created the first arcade game called “Computer Space” in 1971.

Computer Space is a space combat arcade game developed in 1971. Created by Nolan Bushnell and Ted Dabney in partnership as Syzygy Engineering, it was the first arcade video game as well as the first commercially available video game.

The First edition of Unix released on November 3, 1971.

Bob Bemer published the world’s first warning on the Year 2000 problem in 1971.

Intel introduced the first microprocessor, the Intel 4004 on November 15, 1971. The 4004 had 2,300 transistors, performed 60,000 operations per second (OPS), addressed 640 bytes of memory, and cost $200.00.

Intel 4004 – Thomas Nguyen / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)


20th Century: 1970

The Unix time, aka Epoch time, is set to start on January 1, 1970.

The Network Control Program (NCP) provided the middle layers of the protocol stack running on host computers of the ARPANET, the predecessor to the modern Internet.

NCP preceded the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) is a transport layer protocol used during the early ARPANET. NCP was a simplex protocol that utilized two port addresses, establishing two connections for two-way communications. An odd and an even port were reserved for each application layer application or protocol. The standardization of TCP and UDP reduced the need for the use of two simplex ports for each application down to one duplex port. Stephen D. Crocker, then a graduate student at UCLA, formed and led the Network Working Group (NWG) and specifically led the development of NCP. Other participants in the NWG developed application-level protocols such as TELNET, FTP, SMTP, among others.

Intel released its first commercially available DRAM, the Intel 1103 in October 1970. Capable of storing 1024 bytes or 1 KB of memory.

The Intel 4004, developed in 1970, is a 4-bit central processing unit (CPU) released by Intel Corporation in 1971. It was the first commercially produced microprocessor and the first in a long line of Intel CPUs.

Intel 4004 CPU – Thomas Nguyen / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)

The first dot-matrix impact printer was developed by Centronics in 1970.

IBM introduced the System/370 that included the use of Virtual Memory and utilized memory chips instead of magnetic core technology.

Douglas Engelbart got a patent for the first computer mouse on November 17, 1970.

SRI International / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)

Philips introduced the VCR in 1970.

Henry Edward Roberts establishes Micro Instrumentation and Telemetry Systems (MITS) in 1970.

Western Digital was founded.

1970: The first broadcast of The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Odd Couple, Monday Night Football and All My Children; Advert Smash Martians; PBS is launched.

Apollo 13: “Houston, We’ve Got A Problem.”

This video contains historical footage of the flight of Apollo-13, the fifth Lunar Mission, and the third spacecraft that was to land on the Moon. Apollo-13’s launch date was April 11, 1970. On the 13th of April, after docking with the Lunar Module, the astronauts, Jim Lovell, Fred Haise, and Jack Swigert, discovered that their oxygen tanks had ruptured and ended up entering and returning to Earth in the Lunar Module instead of the Command Module. There is footage of inside module and Mission Control shots, personal commentary by the astronauts concerning the problems as they developed, national news footage and commentary, and a post-flight Presidential Address by President Richard Nixon.


20th Century: 1969

Spacewar is a two-player networked game inspired by the original Spacewar! on PLATO. Two players control a spaceship each in a two-dimensional representation of space. The ships can thrust, rotate, and fire and must try to destroy each other. The ships are represented by custom ASCII graphics. Unlike the original Spacewar! Here ships have only limited fuel and hyperspace jumps. Connected users are listed on-screen (big board) and can be challenged to a duel. The game was originally written for PLATO III but later ported to PLATO IV. When PLATO went on the ARPANET in 1974 the game became incompatible. It was replaced by Orbit War.

The first Request for Comments, RFC 1 published. The RFCs (network working group, Request For Comment) are a series of papers that are used to develop and define protocols for networking; originally the basis for ARPANET.


Telnet is an application protocol used on the Internet or local area network to provide a bidirectional interactive text-oriented communication facility using a virtual terminal connection. User data is interspersed in-band with Telnet control information in an 8-bit byte oriented data connection over the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP).

Telnet was developed on September 25, 1969 beginning with RFC 15, extended in RFC 855, and standardized as Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) Internet Standard STD 8, one of the first Internet standards. The name stands for “teletype network”. Historically, Telnet provided access to a command-line interface on a remote host.

Jan. 16, 1969: Soyuz 4 and Soyuz 5 rendezvous and dock and perform the first in-orbit crew transfer.

March 3, 1969: Apollo 9 launches. During the mission, tests of the lunar module are conducted in Earth orbit.

The first artificial heart was placed into Haskell Carp on April 4, 1969, for 64 hours until a donor’s heart became available.

Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) was founded on May 1, 1969.

May 22, 1969: Apollo 10’s Lunar Module Snoopy comes within 8.6 miles (14 kilometers) of the moon’s surface.

UCLA puts out a press release introducing the public to the Internet on July 3, 1969.

July 20, 1969: Six years after U.S. President John F. Kennedy’s assassination, the Apollo 11 crew lands on the Moon, fulfilling his promise to put an American there by the end of the decade and return him safely to Earth.

Eagle going for landing.
At 20:18 UTC on July 21, 1969, the Apollo 11 spacecraft landed on the moon, and Neil Armstrong became the first human to walk on the moon.

Ralph Baer files for a US patent on August 21, 1969, that describes playing games on television and would later be a part of the Magnavox Odyssey.

On September 2, 1969, the first data moves from UCLA host to the IMP switch and The first U.S. bank ATM went into service at 9:00AM.

Charley Kline, a UCLA student, tries to send “login,” the first message over ARPANET at 10:30 PM on October 29, 1969. The system transmitted “l” and then “o” but then crashed making today the first day a message was sent over the Internet and the first network crash.

On August 29, 1969, the first network switch and the first piece of network equipment (called “IMP,” which is short for “Interface Message Processor”) is sent to UCLA.

Summer 1969 Unix was developed.

CompuServe, the first commercial online service, was established.

Introduction of the RS-232 (serial interface) standard by EIA (Electronic Industries Association), one of the oldest serial interfaces still in use today.

Gary Starkweather, while working with Xerox invents the laser printer.

Feature Presentation: Wake me up when the war is over.


20th Century: 1968

Intel Corporation was founded by Robert Noyce and Gordon Moore in 1968.

The Programming language LOGO was developed by Wally Feurzeig, Seymour Papert, and Cynthia Solomon at MIT.

The Hewlett-Packard 9100A (HP 9100A) is an early programmable calculator (or computer), first appearing in 1968. HP called it a desktop calculator because, as Bill Hewlett said, “If we had called it a computer, it would have been rejected by our customers’ computer gurus because it didn’t look like an IBM. We, therefore, decided to call it a calculator, and all such nonsense disappeared.


HP 9100A – An early programmable calculator (computer). Hewlett Packard began marketing the first mass-marketed PC and the world’s first desktop computer.

Larry Roberts published the ARPANET program plan on June 3, 1968.

On June 4, 1968, Dr. Robert Dennard at the IBM T.J. Watson Research center was granted U.S. patent #3,387,286 describing a one-transistor DRAM cell. DRAM will later replace magnetic core memory in computers.

Oct. 11, 1968: Apollo 7, the first manned Apollo mission, launches on a Saturn 1 for an 11-day mission in Earth orbit. The mission also featured the first live TV broadcast of humans in space.

Douglas Engelbart publicly demonstrated Hypertext on the NLS Computer on December 9, 1968, in the mother of all demos.

Dec. 21, 1968: Apollo 8 launches on a Saturn V and becomes the first manned mission to orbit the moon.

UCLA is selected to be the first node on the ARPAnet (later called the Internet).

American Television and Communications (ATC) was founded in 1968 and would later become Time Warner Cable.

The first broadcast of 60 Minutes, One Life to Live, Dad’s Army, Julia, Columbo, Elvis, Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, Hawaii Five-O, Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In, and Adam-12.

1968 Stuff:

San Francisco 1968 

Feature Presentation: Night of the Living Dead – Public Domain



20th Century: 1967

Development of programming language Pascal begun, continued in Switzerland from 1968 to 1971.

The floppy disk is invented at IBM by David Noble.

Ralph Baer created “Chase”, the first video game that was capable of being played on a television.

GPS becomes available for commercial use.

The LOGO programming language is developed and is later known as “turtle graphics,” a simplified interface useful for teaching children computers.

Jan. 27, 1967: All three astronauts for NASA’s Apollo 1 mission suffocate from smoke inhalation in a cabin fire during a launch pad test.

April 5, 1967: A review board delivers a damning report to NASA Administrator James Webb about problem areas in the Apollo spacecraft. The recommended modifications are completed by Oct. 9, 1968.

April 23, 1967: Soyuz 1 launches but the surface of a myriad of problems. The solar panels do not unfold, there are stability problems and the parachute fails to open on descent causing the death of Soviet cosmonaut Vladimir Komarov.

On November 9, 1967, Apollo 4, the first test flight of the Apollo/Saturn V space vehicle, was launched from Kennedy Space Center Launch Complex 39. This was an unmanned test flight intended to prove that the complex Saturn V rocket could perform its requirements. All three stages separated successfully and their engines performed as planned. The third stage also restarted in orbit, which was a requirement for lunar missions. At the end of the flight, the unmanned Apollo spacecraft reentered and proved that it could survive the intense heat generated during a high-speed return from the moon.

Apollo/Saturn V space vehicle

The first broadcast of The Carol Burnett Show, The Prisoner, The Flying Nun, Speed Racer, The Phil Donahue Show, and Ambassador Magma; Adverts: Birds Eye’s Captain Birdseye and Beanz Meanz Heinz; PAL and SECAM color standards introduced in Europe, with BBC2 making their first color broadcasts.

1967 Stuff:

Jimi Hendrix Live in Monterey

Protests Galore!

Feature Presentation: Voyage to the Planet of Prehistoric Women (Soviet Film – English dub)



20th Century: 1966

Jan. 14, 1966: The Soviet Union’s chief designer, Sergei Korolev, dies from complications stemming from routine surgery, leaving the Soviet space program without its most influential leader of the preceding 20 years.

Feb. 3, 1966: The unmanned Soviet spacecraft Luna 9 makes the first soft landing on the Moon.

ARPANET planning starts. In February 1966, Bob Taylor successfully lobbied ARPA’s Director Charles M. Herzfeld to fund a network project. Herzfeld redirected funds in the amount of one million dollars from a ballistic missile defense program to Taylor’s budget. Taylor hired Larry Roberts as a program manager in the ARPA Information Processing Techniques Office in January 1967 to work on the ARPANET.

March 1, 1966: The Soviet Union’s Venera 3 probe becomes the first spacecraft to land on the planet Venus, but its communications system failed before data could be returned.

March 16, 1966: Gemini 8 launches on a Titan 2 rocket and later docks with a previously launched Agena rocket — the first docking between two orbiting spacecraft.

The Agena Target Docking Vehicle seen from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Gemini adapter of the Agena is approximately two feet from the nose of the spacecraft (lower left). Crewmen for the Gemini-8 mission were astronauts Neil A. Armstrong, command pilot, and David R. Scott, pilot. – NASA / Public domain

April 3, 1966: The Soviet Luna 10 space probe enters lunar orbit, becoming the first spacecraft to orbit the Moon.

June 2, 1966: Surveyor 1, a lunar lander, performs the first successful U.S. soft landing on the Moon.

US President Lyndon Johnson signed the Freedom of Information Act into law on July 4, 1966. Freedom of information laws allows access by the general public to data held by national governments. The emergence of freedom of information legislation was a response to increasing dissatisfaction with the secrecy surrounding government policy development and decision making. They establish a “right-to-know” legal process by which requests may be made for government-held information, to be received freely or at minimal cost, barring standard exceptions. Also, variously referred to as open records, or sunshine laws (in the United States), governments are typically bound by a duty to publish and promote openness. In many countries, there are constitutional guarantees for the right of access to information, but these are usually unused if specific support legislation does not exist.

The original Star Trek was shown for the first time on United States NBC on September 8, 1966.

The first broadcast of Batman (the live-action TV series), The Monkees, Dark Shadows, Ultra Series, That Girl, Cathy Come Home, and Mission: Impossible.

Joseph Weizenbaum of MIT wrote a program called Eliza that made the computer act as a psychotherapist in 1966.

Top Film of 1966: A Man For All Seasons


If you have seen this film lets start a discussion


My choice for the top song of 1966 (because the others suck): #10 – The Mamas & The Pappas – California Dreamin’


20th Century: 1965 – Hacker


  • A computer hacker is any skilled computer expert who uses their technical knowledge to overcome a problem or make a hack more efficient.
  • A hardware hacker is any skilled computer expert who uses their technical knowledge to overcome a problem or make a hack more efficient.

Hacker Ethos

  • Access to computers—and anything which might teach you something about the way the world works—should be unlimited and total. Always yield to the Hands-On Imperative!
  • Mistrust authority—promote decentralization.
  • All information should be free.
  • Hackers should be judged by their hacking, not criteria such as degrees, age, race, sex, or position.
  • You can create art and beauty on a computer.
  • Computers can change your life for the better.

MIT Hacks…

1959 – The first-ever reference to malicious hacking is ‘telephone hackers’ in MIT’s student newspaper, The Tech of hackers tying up the lines with Harvard, configuring the PDP-1 to make free calls, war dialing, and accumulating large phone bills.

1979 – A lifesize fiberglass cow appeared on top of the Great Dome. The cow was later installed in the MIT Museum in the Stata Center.

1994 – A carefully assembled outer frame of a car painted as an MIT Campus Police car appeared on top of the Great Dome. This hack quickly gained recognition on many local news sources and on national television.

April 1, 1998 – As an April Fool’s Day prank, the MIT home page was replaced with a page announcing the university had been bought by The Walt Disney Company for $6.9 billion. The hacked page showed a picture of Mickey Mouse ears atop the Great Dome and replaced the letter I in MIT with the lower-case “i” from Disney’s wordmark. It even contained a fake press release with statements purportedly from Disney and MIT officials, detailing terms of the acquisition.

September 11, 2006 – A life-sized “MIT Fire Department” fire truck was placed on the Great Dome, presumably to commemorate the fifth anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks. The logo painted on the truck’s sides featured the two figures from the MIT seal dressed as firemen, along with the motto MEMINIMUS (“We remember”).

 You seem well-suited for a career in government.



20th Century: 1964

Computers built between 1964 and 1972 are often regarded as “third-generation” computers; they are based on the first integrated circuits – creating even smaller machines. Typical of such devices were the HP 2116A and Data General Nova.

Data General  Nova 1964 – Jeff Keyzer from Austin, TX, USA / CC BY (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)

Launch of IBM System/360. The first series of compatible computers, reversing and stopping the evolution of separate “business” and “scientific” machine architectures; all models used the same basic instruction set architecture and register sizes, in theory allowing programs to be migrated to more or less powerful models as needs changed.

IBM System 360 1964 – Arnold Reinhold / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)

Project MAC began at MIT by J.C.R. Licklider, who would become famous for groundbreaking research in operating systems, artificial intelligence, and the theory of computation.

April 8, 1964: Gemini 1, a two-seat spacecraft system, launches in an uncrewed flight.

April 1964: Battlecrypt is born.

A mainframe interactive fiction adventure game from 1977:

Unscramble: okrz


This content is password-protected.

1 May 1964: Programming language BASIC (Beginners All-Purpose Symbolic Instruction Code) developed at Dartmouth College, USA, by Thomas E. Kurtz and John George Kemeny.

“Our vision was that every student on campus should have access to a computer, and any faculty member should be able to use a computer in the classroom whenever appropriate. It was as simple as that.” – John George Kemeny’s reason for developing BASIC.

20 PRINT 2 + 2

July 28, 1964: Ranger 7 launches and is the Ranger series’ first success, taking photographs of the moon until it crashes into its surface four days later.

DEC PDP-8 Mini Computer. The first minicomputer, built by Digital Equipment (DEC). It cost US$18,500.

Oct. 12, 1964: The Soviet Union launches Voskhod 1, a modified Vostok orbiter with a three-person crew.

The first broadcast of Gilligan’s Island, The Munsters, Bewitched, The Man from U.N.C.L.E, The Addams Family, Top of the Pops, Match of the Day, Jeopardy!, Jonny Quest, and the Up series; The Beatles appear on The Ed Sullivan Show.

Top Film of 1964:

Anyone who loves musicals should see this film. Iconic!

Top Song of 1964: Meh…

20th Century: 1963

Kodak introduces the Instamatic camera.

The American Standard Code for Information Interchange (ASCII) was developed in 1963 to standardize data exchange among computers.

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) is a professional association for electronic engineering and electrical engineering (and associated disciplines) with its corporate office in New York City and its operations center in Piscataway, New Jersey. It was formed in 1963 from the amalgamation of the American Institute of Electrical Engineers and the Institute of Radio Engineers.

June 16, 1963, Valentina Tereshkova becomes the first woman to fly into space.

The first broadcast of General Hospital, The Fugitive, Astro Boy, The Outer Limits, and Doctor Who; The world watches in horror over the Assassination of John F. Kennedy.

Bell Telephone introduced the push-button telephone on November 18, 1963.

On December 7, 1963, during an Army-Navy football game on CBS, the first instant replay was shown on TV.

Top Song of 1963: