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TueOct 29

National Internet Day – October 29, 2024

National Internet Day is October 29 and looking back at AOL’s quaint “You’ve got mail” ads circa 1997, few could imagine what the internet would mean all these years later. We loved this new thing called “email,” but could we imagine booking entire overseas vacations on our phones at 3am? Or something called Instagram? Or the web’s worldwide implications? Let’s take a moment to look back at how it all happened — and what’s coming next.


What are National Internet Day Related Holidays?

Whether it’s a bank account or pics that we should never have taken, our personal life is, well, personal. National Computer Security Day reminds us that although we deserve to have our privacy protected, we can’t only rely on someone else to do the job.

National Download Day celebrates the one week of the year when Americans download the most apps. The main reason? People who receive shiny new smartphones as holiday gifts.

Still using your cat’s name followed by an “&” for your 401(k) account password? Sorry, but that’s just not enough to protect your life savings in 2020. Make sure you add strong authentication to your important passwords in order to prevent identity theft and other cybercrimes.

History of National Internet Day

October 29, 1969. Charley Kline, a young grad student on the UCLA campus attempts to send the first internet message to his colleague, Bill Duvall, at Stanford. They’re working on something called ARPANET (Advanced Research Projects Agency Network), the U.S. Defense Department-funded network that connected four terminals installed at UCLA, Stanford, UC Santa Barbara, and the University of Utah. 
They succeeded — sort of — in their attempt to send the word “LOGIN.”
Charley Kline: “So I’m on the phone and I type the L and say, ‘OK, I typed in L, you got that?’ Bill Duvall, the guy at Stanford, is watching his monitor and he has the L. I type the O. Got the O. Typed the G. ‘Wait a minute,’ Bill says, ‘my system crashed. I’ll call you back.'” An hour later, under the watchful eye of UCLA computer science professor Leonard Kleinrock, Kline was able to send the complete “LOGIN” message.
Another man, a computer scientist named Joseph Licklider, also deserves credit for being an internet pioneer with an early vision of a worldwide computer network long before it was built. Today he’s known as “computing’s Johnny Appleseed.”
It’s impossible to calculate the effect of the Internet on society as a whole. That’s like trying to figure out how the telephone and printing press changed the world. We started with chat rooms, email programs, and some basic websites and wound up in the midst of a cultural revolution. Today we’ve got mail — along with access to infinite possibilities — in our back pockets. Literally.

National Internet Day timeline

Let’s chat

AOL introduces a monthly flat rate for access to internet chat rooms instead of charging by the hour. For $19.95 a month, users could now stay for as long as they wanted. AOL’s subscriber base would grow to 17 million by 1999.

The iMac Makes Computing Easy

Apple designs a landmark (and colorful) desktop computer that users could set up with a simple two-step process. Apple’s catchphrase in a popular commercial? “There’s no step 3.” Another ad showed a 7-year-old setting up an iMac in a little over eight minutes.

Let's Get Social

Mark Zuckerberg launches Facebook as a Harvard-only social network. By 2011, Facebook’s estimated worth stands at $50 billion. The dawn of “fake news” on Facebook would influence the 2016 presidential election.

Its Prime Time, Baby!

Amazon emerges as America’s second-largest private employer. (Only Walmart has more workers.) Jeff Bezos’ company has connections to more than a third of all retail products bought or sold online in the U.S. Amazon also owns Whole Foods and helps arrange the shipment of items purchased across the Web.

National Internet Day FAQs

Why is Safer Internet Day celebrated?

Each year on February 11, Safer Internet Day aims to raise awareness of emerging online issues and chooses a topic reflecting current concerns. Safer Internet Day is originally a European holiday. However people outside Europe do celebrate it.

Is the internet safe for children?

That depends on a lot of factors, but by and large, when used responsibly and with adult supervision, the internet can be a terrific resource for children — and adults too, for that matter.

What are some of the dangers of the internet?

Some of the dangers include cyberbullying, screen addiction, damage to the eyes from blue light, loss of sleep, and exposure to questionable or objectionable material. 

National Internet Day Activities

  1. Mix up your passwords

    It might seem like a boring way to celebrate, but the next time a giant bank gets hacked, you'll be able to rest just a tad easier. Hopefully.

  2. Make your own memes

    Whether you're a photoshop wiz, or a computer klutz, making a meme is easy. Find a funny picture that you'd like to annotate (or start with a classic meme image), and get creative

  3. Unplug! Just for a day.

    You wouldn't dare refrain from pizza on National Pizza Day, so why unplug from the web on National Internet Day? Well, because we can! Most of us use the internet everyday, and it can be easy to forget how much we depend on it. By taking a day off, we can appreciate the offline world as well.

Why We Love National Internet Day

  1. It connects us like never before

    Many technologies promised to connect the world — the mail service, telegraph, and the telephone, to name a few — but none of them succeeded with such scale and speed as the web. A message that once could have taken weeks to receive can now be transmitted across the world (and the solar system!) in mere moments.

  2. It's a global equalizer

    Thirty years ago, only the world's wealthiest individuals and institutions had access to a library of information comparable with what's online today. While it's still not an entirely free process, the price of information access has fallen dramatically with the rise of the internet, putting infinite information into the pockets of billions across the globe.

  3. Cats, cats, and more cats.

    For a tool that so many people use so differently, there's one part of the internet that seems constant: cats. From long cat to Grumpy cat, our feline friends have become quick celebrities on the internet, and as history tells us, we're always looking for a new hero. The internet delivers every day!

National Internet Day dates

2024October 29Tuesday
2025October 29Wednesday
2026October 29Thursday
2027October 29Friday
2028October 29Sunday

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