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The Original Uncensored Usenet access since 1999

20 Year Usenet Timeline

Google has fully integrated the past 20 years of Usenet archives into Google Groups, which now offers access to more than 800 million messages dating back to 1981. This is by far the most complete collection of Usenet articles ever assembled and a fascinating first-hand historical account.

We compiled some especially memorable articles and threads in the timeline below. For example, read Tim Berners-Lee's announcement of what became the World Wide Web or Linus Torvalds' post about his "pet project". You can find more in-depth information about the archive here.

We would like to thank the following archive donors: Jürgen Christoffel, Bruce Jones, Kent Landfield, Henry Spencer, David Wiseman.

Enjoy your trip back to the golden age of Usenet.

----- 11 May 1981 Oldest Usenet article in the Google Groups Archive 
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-------- May 1981 First mention of Microsoft
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-------- Jun 1981 A logical map of Usenet when it was still small
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-------- Jun 1981 First mention of Microsoft MS-DOS
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-------- Aug 1981 First review of the IBM-PC
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-------- Oct 1981 TCP/IP Digest #1
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-------- Mar 1982 First mention of MTV
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-------- Apr 1982 First mention of Sun Microsystems
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-------- Jun 1982 First mention of Star Wars Episode 6
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-------- Jul 1982 First mention of a compact disc
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-------- Aug 1982 First mention of the Commodore 64
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-------- Aug 1982 First mention of Apple's Lisa and Macintosh products
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-------- Nov 1982 Early reference to emoticons
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-------- Dec 1982 Announcement of first cell phone deployment in Chicago
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-------- Dec 1982 First thread about AIDS
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-------- Feb 1983 Rob Pike's first prank as Bimmler
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-------- Feb 1983 First "Me too" post
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-------- Feb 1983 First mention of Michael Jordan
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-------- Feb 1983 First mention of a Fax machine
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-------- May 1983 First mention of Church of the SubGenius 
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-------- Jul 1983 Earliest Usenet posting statistics
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-------- Jul 1983 First mention of Madonna
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-------- Aug 1983 Early Usenet survey and its results
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-------- Sep 1983 Stallman's announcement of GNU
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-------- Nov 1983 First mention of Microsoft Windows
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-------- Jan 1984 First reference to Apple's Super Bowl commercial
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-------- Feb 1984 Microsoft needs wizards
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-------- Apr 1984 The kremvax hoax
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-------- May 1984 For C hackers: Tom Duff presents "Duff's Device"
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-------- Jul 1984 First mention of Bill Clinton
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-------- Aug 1984 First mention of the Commodore Amiga
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-------- Sep 1984 Rob Pike's and Bruce Ellis' first prank as Mark V. Shaney
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-------- Jan 1985 First discussion of the Y2K problem
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-------- Apr 1985 First discussion about "New Coke"
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-------- Jan 1986 First mention of the Challenger tragedy
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-------- Feb 1986 First mention of the MIR space station
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-------- May 1986 First thread about the Chernobyl meltdown
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-------- Jul 1986 First mention of Cisco
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-------- Sep 1986 Gene Spafford's comments on the Great Renaming
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-------- Sep 1986 First mention of the term IPO
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-------- Jan 1987 Announcement of UUNET
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-------- Mar 1988 First mention of the term 'search engine'
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-------- Nov 1988 First warning about the Morris Internet Worm
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-------- Nov 1988 Thread about how the Internet Worm worked
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-------- Jan 1989 Brad Templeton's "Imminent death of net predicted"
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-------- Feb 1989 First mention of Internet Relay Chat (IRC)
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-------- Mar 1989 First discussion of cold fusion
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-------- Jun 1989 First post about Tiananmen Square massacre
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-------- Jun 1989 Brad Templeton announces ClariNet - the first "dot com"
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-------- Sep 1989 First mention of AOL
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-------- Sep 1989 First mention of The Simpsons
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-------- Oct 1989 First post in alt.hypertext
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-------- Oct 1989 First post about San Francisco earthquake
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-------- Nov 1989 First post from Berlin after the wall came down
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-------- Nov 1989 First Make Money Fast post
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-------- Dec 1989 Early post by BIFF
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-------- Mar 1990 Discussion of raid on Steve Jackson Games
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-------- Jul 1990 Announcement of the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF)
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-------- Jul 1991 The kremvax exists!
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-------- Aug 1991 Tim Berners-Lee's announcement of the World Wide Web project
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-------- Aug 1991 Mike Godwin formalizes Godwin's Law
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-------- Sep 1991 Announcement of Internet Gopher
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-------- Oct 1991 Linus Torvalds' Linux announcement
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-------- Dec 1991 Early post to alt.religion.kibology by Kibo
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-------- Jan 1992 Famous debate between Andy Tanenbaum and Linus Torvalds
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-------- Apr 1992 Thread about Rodney King verdict and resulting LA riots
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-------- May 1992 First post from an AOL account
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-------- May 1992 Thread about Johnny Carson's last Tonight Show
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-------- Jun 1992 First BOFH post
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-------- Jul 1992 Terry Pratchett's first post on alt.fan.pratchett
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-------- Mar 1993 Marc Andreessen's Mosaic announcement
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-------- May 1993 First mention of Britney Spears
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-------- Apr 1993 Gene Spafford's farewell post
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-------- Aug 1993 First mention of Osama bin Laden
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-------- Oct 1993 Douglas Adams' first post on alt.fan.douglas-adams
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-------- Jan 1994 Instance of first mass spamming
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-------- Apr 1994 Instance of first commercial mass spamming (more on spam history)
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-------- Jun 1994 Thread about televised O.J. Simpson arrest
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-------- Jun 1994 Announcement of WebCrawler launch
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-------- Aug 1994 Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is hiring
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-------- Sep 1994 First thread about the show "Friends"
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-------- Oct 1994 Marc Andreessen's Netscape announcement
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-------- Dec 1994 First hoax alert about "Good Times"
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-------- Dec 1994 Early mentions of Yahoo! and Lycos
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-------- Feb 1995 First mention of the Taliban
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-------- May 1995 First mention of DejaNews
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-------- Sep 1995 eBay founder Pierre Omidyar advertises new auctioning service 
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-------- Dec 1995 Announcement of AltaVista launch
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-------- Mar 1998 First mention of Google
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-------- May 1998 First mention of Mac OSX
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-------- Feb 2001 Google acquires Deja archive
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----- 11 Sep 2001 First thread after terrorist attacks (Second, Third, Fourth)
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----- 11 Dec 2001 Google offers 20-year Usenet Archive

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