Last Contact with Pioneer 10

Pioneer 10January 23, 2003

The last successful contact was made with the spacecraft Pioneer 10, one of the most distant man-made objects in the universe. Pioneer 10 is heading in the direction of the star Aldebaran in the constellation Taurus at roughly 2.6 AU per year. If Aldebaran had zero relative velocity, it would take Pioneer 10 about 2 million years to reach it.

Java Released; Coffee Drinkers Confused

Java LogoJanuary 23, 1996

The first version of the Java programming language was released. The ability of Java to “write once, run anywhere” made it ideal for Internet-based applications. As the popularity of the Internet soared, so did the usage of Java.

First Bridge Over the Mississippi River

Hennepin Avenue Bridge 1865January 23, 1855

The first bridge over the Mississippi River opens in what is now Minneapolis, Minnesota, a crossing made today by the Father Louis Hennepin Bridge.

1984 Commercial Introduces the Macintosh

January 22, 1984

Apple Computer broadcasts their now-famous “1984” commercial introducing the Macintosh, during the third quarter of Super Bowl XVIII. It was the first and last time the ad was truly broadcast. However, it is a little-known piece of trivia that the ad was aired one other time at 1 AM on December 15, 1983 in Twin Falls, Idaho, but only so that the advertisement could be submitted to award ceremonies for that year. A 30-second version also ran in theaters starting January 17, but it was the broadcast during the Super Bowl that people really took notice of.

I was 9 years old then and I vaguely remember seeing the commercial, but I also remember being more interested in watching the Raiders beat the Redskins at that time. It wasn’t until many years later that I actually recalled the commercial. Yet when I recalled it, it was as if I remembered that commercial all along. I guess even though I didn’t appreciate it at the time, I somehow knew that moment truly was changing the world.

First Lunar Module Test Launch

Apollo 5 EmblemJanuary 22, 1968

Apollo 5 lifts off carrying the first unmanned Lunar module into space.

First TV Station West of Mississippi

KTLAJanuary 22, 1947

KTLA, the first commercial television station west of the Mississippi River, begins operation in Hollywood, California. Bob Hope emceed the inaugural broadcast. A total of 322 televisions are in the Los Angeles viewing area.

Twitter.com is Born

Twitter LogoJanuary 21, 2000

The domain name twitter.com was registered. However, it wasn’t until 2006 that the domain was purchased by Twitter, Inc. and took the form we know today.

It Could Go at Least 88 MPH

DeLorean DMC-12January 21, 1981

Production of the iconic DeLorean DMC-12 sports car begins in Dunmurry, Northern Ireland. While not truly a technological achievement, the DeLorean became known as a symbol of the high-tech 1980’s.

Concorde Begins Commercial Flights

The ConcordeJanuary 21, 1976

Commercial service of the Concorde begins with the London-Bahrain and Paris-Rio routes. The only commercial supersonic jet, the Concorde could travel between New York and London in about 3.5 hours. The Concorde flew commercially for 27 years until being retired on November 26, 2003.

The Happy99 Worm Appears

Happy99 WormJanuary 20, 1999

The Happy99 worm first appeared. It invisibly attached itself to emails, displayed fireworks to hide the changes being made, and wished the user a happy New Year. It was the first of a wave of malware that struck Microsoft Windows computers over the next several years, costing businesses and individuals untold amounts of money to resolve.