Daily TWiP ArchivesSomething interesting has happened on (just about) every day of the year, and Daily TWiP provides the proof. An offshoot of my local events column The Week in Preview (affectionately known as TWiP), Daily TWiP was published April 2008-Aug. 2011 and is still giving readers reasons to celebrate.
More in "Daily TWiP"
- Daily TWiP - Oct. 23: National Mole Day
- Daily TWiP - June 18: International Picnic Day
- Daily TWiP - June 30, 1859: The Great Blondin crosses Niagara Falls on a tightrope
- Daily TWiP - Dec. 1, 1761: Famed wax sculptor Madame Tussaud born
- Daily TWiP - Dec. 4: National Cookie Day
- Daily TWiP - Oct. 8: National Fluffernutter Day
- Daily TWiP - Sept. 7, 1936: "Benjamin," the last thylacine, dies
- Daily TWiP - Nov. 12, 1933: First photograph of the Loch Ness Monster taken
- Daily TWiP - April 1, 1957: The BBC pulls off its infamous spaghetti tree hoax
- Daily TWiP - April 11, 1954: The most boring day of the 20th century
- Daily TWiP - May 3, 1978: The first spam email is sent
- Daily TWiP - Feb. 28, 1939: The non-word “dord” is discovered in Webster’s New International Dictionary
- Daily TWiP - March 3, 1931: "The Star-Spangled Banner," set to the tune of an English drinking song, becomes the U.S. national anthem
- Daily TWiP - May 16, 1777: The American with the most valuable autograph is fatally wounded in a duel
- Daily TWiP - May 25: Towel Day and Geek Pride Day
- Daily TWiP - June 30: National Ice Cream Soda Day
- Daily TWiP - July 22: Spoonerism Day
- Daily TWiP - Aug. 13: International Left-Handers' Day
- Daily TWiP - Aug. 23, 1784: The short-lived state of Franklin declares its independence from North Carolina
- Daily TWiP - Feb. 5, 1897: The Indiana General Assembly unanimously votes to change the value of pi
- Daily TWiP - March 10: International Day of Awesomeness and Chuck Norris' birthday
- Daily TWiP - Jan. 25: National Irish Coffee Day
- Daily TWiP - Nov. 30, 1954: Ann Hodges becomes the first person hit by a meteorite
- Daily TWiP - Oct. 6, 1582 does not happen in certain countries
- Daily TWiP - Sept. 17, 1859: Joshua A. Norton declares himself Emperor of the United States
- Daily TWiP - Sept. 30, 2004: First images of a live giant squid in its natural habitat are taken
- Daily TWiP - Aug. 27, 1896: The shortest war in recorded history is fought
- Daily TWiP - July 30, 1419: Czechs chuck politicians (literally) during the First Defenestration of Prague
- Daily TWiP - July 21, 356 B.C.: Herostratus destroys one of the Seven Wonders of the World to ensure his own fame
- Daily TWiP - May 14: National Dance Like A Chicken Day
- Daily TWiP - Jan. 26, 2004: Dead whale unexpectedly explodes in Tainan, Taiwan
- Daily TWiP - Jan. 8, 1835: U.S. national debt hits zero for the first and only time
Daily TWiP – May 3, 1978: The first spam email is sent
The first spam email was sent not by a money-hungry opportunist posing as exiled Nigerian royalty, but by a Digital Equipment Corporation marketing employee looking to spread the word about his company’s products. It hit the inboxes of a number of West Coast ARPANET users May 3, 1978, spawning a major debate over unsolicited email.
Use of ARPANET, considered to be the precursor to the Internet, was restricted to certain individuals, most of whom were government employees, military officials and computer scientists. As a computer manufacturer, Digital Equipment Corporation apparently also had ARPANET access and marketer Gary Thuerk decided to use that to the company’s advantage.
He sent an email to numerous users informing them of the new DEC-20 machine, which came with ARPANET protocol already installed, as well as several open houses that were scheduled to demonstrate the machine. Since Digital Equipment Corporation was based on the East Coast, Thuerk targeted the email to West Coast users who might not be aware of the company’s offerings.
Some found Thuerk’s e-mail interesting and welcomed the information, finding it more relevant than smaller mass mailings they had received about, for example, a fellow employee’s new baby. Others were not so pleased, including Major Raymond Czahor, chief of the ARPANET Management Branch, who branded it a flagrant violation of ARPANET usage.
Although Thuerk didn’t believe he had done anything wrong, he did not attempt another product-oriented mass mailing. Indeed, it would be roughly another decade before any other spammer dared try again. More than 30 years later, Internet users are completely accustomed to spam, with most receiving more spam than actual email.
– Teresa Santoski
Originally published May 3, 2011.