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The IT History Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of knowledge about the people, products, and companies that together comprise the field of computing.

Since 1978 our organization, and its hundreds of members, have worked toward this goal, and we invite you to contribute your own knowledge and memories on this website! (read more)

Another Historic Plaque

By now you must know that I am fond of historic plaques, especially ones that have to do with the District of Columbia or Northern Virginia. Here's another one, from Arlington:ArpanetThe full text reads:

The ARPANET, a project of the Advanced Research Projects Agency of the Department of Defense, developed the technology that became the foundation for the internet at this site from 1970 to 1975. Originally intended to support military needs, ARPANET technology was soon applied to civilian uses, allowing information to be rapidly and widely available. The internet, and services such as e-mail, e-commerce and the World Wide Web, continues to grow as the under-lying technologies evolve. The innovations inspired by the ARPANET have provided great benefits for society.


It is in front of an anonymous building on Wilson Boulevard in Arlington, where ARPA's Information Processing Techniques Office was located.



Below the plaque is a string of binary numbers. I will try to decipher them and let you know.





One more piece of trivia: across the street is another plaque, commemorating the parking garage where Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward met with "Deep Throat" to get the inside story of the Watergate break-in. It was likely that ARPA researchers were developing the TCP/IP protocols at the same time (they worked late into the night) as these meetings were taking place. Which had the greater impact on history?

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