In 1957, the Soviet Union launched the first satellite, Sputnik I, triggering
US President Dwight Eisenhower to create the ARPA agency to regain the technological lead in the arms race. ARPA appointed
J.C.R. Licklider to head the new IPTO organization with a mandate to further the research of the SAGE program and help protect
the US against a space-based nuclear attack. Licklider evangelized within the IPTO about the potential benefits of a country-wide
communications network, influencing his successors to hire Lawrence Roberts to implement his vision.
Roberts led development of the network, based on the new idea of packet
switching discovered by Paul Baran at RAND, and a few years later by Donald Davies at the UK National Physical Laboratory.
A special computer called an Interface Message Processor was developed to realize the design, and the ARPANET went live in
early October, 1969. The first communications were between Leonard Kleinrock's research center at the University of California
at Los Angeles, and Douglas Engelbart's center at the Stanford Research Institute.
The first networking protocol used on the ARPANET was the Network Control
Program. In 1983, it was replaced with the TCP/IP protocol developed by Robert Kahn, Vinton Cerf, and others, which quickly
became the most widely used network protocol in the world.
In 1990, the ARPANET was retired and transferred to the NSFNET. The NSFNET
was soon connected to the CSNET, which linked Universities around North America, and then to the EUnet, which connected research
facilities in Europe. Thanks in part to the NSF's enlightened management, and fueled by the popularity of the web, the use
of the Internet exploded after 1990, causing the US Government to transfer management to independent organizations starting