Before there was the Internet, there was a packet. The “sending of the packet” was actually the first step toward the invention of the Internet as we know it, and it happened 50 years ago today. On that day, we established the first connection between two computers—from UCLA to the Stanford Research Institute—on the ARPANET, the predecessor to the Internet.
Connecting the planet in this way remains one of the most astounding technical and societal achievements of our lifetime. A lot has happened in the years since, and the rise of the Internet has come with its own set of challenges that will require new solutions. But over the years there have been many bright spots, including 17 moments that, for me, stand out the most.