First Fly-By of Uranus

Voyager SpacecraftFebruary 24, 1986

Voyager 2 performs the first fly-by of the planet Uranus. Voyager 2 still is transmitting data to this day, and a Twitter feed reports on its progress.

 

First Phone and TV Satellite Relays

Echo 1February 24, 1962

The first satellite telephone and television relays are established through the communications satellite Echo 1. The satellite was basically a big metallic balloon that simply bounced microwaves off its surface. Simple, but effective.

First Rocket to “Officially” Reach Outer Space

Bumper 5February 24, 1949

The first US rocket to reach outer space (Bumper 5) is launched from the White Sands Proving Grounds in New Mexico. The rocket was a modified German V-2 ballistic missile. It reached a record altitude of 244 miles, which broke the unofficial record of 117 miles, reportedly set by a V-2 missile launched by Germany in 1944. The later named and established Kármán line, which is 62.1 miles (100 kilometers) above the Earth’s sea level, is considered the upper limit of Earth’s atmosphere and the beginning of Outer Space.

First Mobile Phone Virus

Cabir VirusFebruary 23, 2005

The discovery of the first mobile phone virus, Cabir, is accounced. Specifically, Cabir is a worm which infects phones running the Symbian OS. Whenever an infected phone is activated, the message “Caribe” is displayed. Infected phones also attempts to spread the virus through Bluetooth signals.

Radio Gets Controlled

Federal Radio Commission SealFebruary 23, 1927

The Radio Act of 1927 is signed into law. The Act creates the Federal Radio Commission (FRC), which will later be replaced by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Ironically, the act claims to recognize broadcasters’ right to free speech yet the Federal Radio Commission solely controls allocation of licensing, frequencies, transmitter power, and broadcasting hours. Doesn’t exactly sound like free speech to me, but hey I’m sort of prickly like that.

Holy Type!

The Gutenberg BibleFebruary 23, 1455

While maybe not exactly accurate, February 23rd, 1455 is generally accepted as the date that the Gutenberg Bible was first published. This was the first book on record to be printed on movable type. Until that point, books were copied by hand, which was obviously a slow, laborious process.

On a side note, I challenge anyone to come up with a historical date in technology earlier than this one! Good luck!

First Internet Only Bank

First Internet Bank LogoFebruary 22, 1999

The First Internet Bank of Indiana opens, becoming the first full-service bank accessible only through the Internet. Who knew it would take a couple of hoosiers to start the first Internet bank?

Dolly Unveiled

Dolly the SheepFebruary 22, 1997

In Roslin, Scotland, scientists announce that they have successfully cloned an adult sheep they named Dolly. The cell used in the cloning came from an adult sheep’s mammary gland, hence the name Dolly. As in Parton. No joke. Or I guess it was.

First Presidential Radio Address

Calvin CoolidgeFebruary 22, 1924

The first presidential radio address is delivered by Calvin Coolidge. Broadcast from the White House, the talk is carried on five stations with an estimated five million listeners.

First Telephone Book Published

First Telephone BookFebruary 21, 1878

The first telephone book is issued in New Haven, Connecticut by the New Haven Telephone Company. It lists twenty-one names. You probably have at least twice as many names in your cell phone today!