Press Club

Arlington Invented the Internet

You won’t find this on Wikipedia, but the internet was invented in Arlington in the 1970s.

On Tuesday, the County Board will recognize several former employees of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) who were instrumental in creating ARPANET, the forerunner of the internet. As part of the ceremony, which is set to take place just after 3:00 p.m., the county will show off two new historical markers that will be erected at 1400 Wilson Boulevard in Rosslyn, DARPA’s former headquarters.

The marker will read:

The ARPANET, a project of the Advanced Research Projects Agency of the Department of Defense, developed the technology that became the foundation for the internet at this site from 1970 to 1975. Originally intended to support military needs, ARPANET technology was soon applied to civilian uses, allowing information to be rapidly and widely available. The internet, and services such as e-mail, e-commerce and the World Wide Web, continues to grow as the under-lying technologies evolve. The innovations inspired by the ARPANET have provided great benefits for society.

ERECTED IN 2011 BY ARLINGTON COUNTY, VIRGINIA

Attending the meeting will be Steve Lukasik, former DARPA director, and several of his colleagues. The county will present each with a certificate, complete with the agency’s name spelled in binary code. As part of the ceremony, AVN, the county’s TV network, will air a short film on DARPA’s role in creating the internet.

DARPA is currently headquartered at 3701 N. Fairfax Drive in Virginia Square, but will be moving to a new office building — currently under construction — at 675 N. Randolph Street in Ballston, perhaps as early as the first quarter of 2012.

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