Academics & Faculty

UCLA, birthplace of the Internet, celebrates 40th anniversary of network's creation

UCLA Engineering to host milestone event featuring Internet experts, visionaries

Forty years ago, on Oct. 29, 1969, a UCLA team led by distinguished professor of computer science Leonard Kleinrock sent the very first message over the ARPANET, the computer network that later became known as the Internet. That event, recognized today as the moment the Internet was born, ushered in a technological revolution that has transformed communications, education, culture, business and entertainment across the globe, leading to dramatic changes in our social, political and economic lives.
In honor of the 40th anniversary of the birth of the Internet at UCLA, the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science presents a daylong celebration and forum featuring some of the most influential Internet leaders, activists and analysts, who will offer valuable insights on the online opportunities and challenges that lie ahead.
Among the event's featured speakers:
Nicholas Negroponte (keynote)
Founder and chairman, One Laptop per Child; chairman emeritus, MIT Media Laboratory
Arianna Huffington
Co-founder and editor-in-chief, Huffington Post
John Taylor
Co-founder and bassist, Duran Duran;sold the first song online
Mike Morhaime and Frank Pearce
Co-founders, Blizzard Entertainment
Shiva Shivakumar
Vice president and entrepreneur-in-residence, Google
Thomas Gewecke
President of digital distribution, Warner Bros.
Mark Bregman
Chief technology officer, Symantec
Gary Bridge
Senior vice president, Cisco
For a complete list of speakers and panels, visit
8 a.m.—6 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 29
  • 8:15 a.m.: Welcome and introduction
  • 9 a.m.: Keynote address
  • 9:40 a.m.: Grassroots session
  • 11 a.m.: Pop culture session
  • 12:30 p.m.: IEEE Milestone Award presentation and lunch
  • 2 p.m.: Content and capital session
  • 4:10 p.m.: Innovating applications session
Covel Commons on the UCLA campus (map)
As availability is limited, media should contact Wileen Wong Kromhout at 310-206-0540 or as early as possible to schedule interviews with Leonard Kleinrock and the event's speakers.
UCLA became the first node of the ARPANET on Sept. 2, 1969, when 35-year-old Leonard Kleinrock led a group of computer scientists in establishing the first network connection between two machines on campus. Two months later, on Oct. 29, Kleinrock and his team, working out of a small space in the engineering school's Boelter Hall, succeeded in sending the first host-to-host message from UCLA to the Stanford Research Institute hundreds of miles away, signaling the birth of the Internet.
While the initial message was intended to be "LOGIN," the team managed only partial success. "We succeeded in transmitting the 'L' and the 'O'," Kleinrock recalled, "and then the system crashed. Hence, the first message on the Internet was 'LO'— as in 'Lo and behold!' We didn't plan it, but we couldn't have come up with a better message: short and prophetic."
Kleinrock, the architect of the groundbreaking packet-switching method that made the Internet possible, has been widely honored for his contributions to world-transforming technologies. He continues to work out of a modest office down the hall from the room where the Internet began and across from a storage closet containing the Internet's first router.
Wileen Wong Kromhout, UCLA Engineering Media Relations and Marketing, 310-206-0540
Parking is limited; press should call media contact to arrange parking.
Media Contact