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July 26, 1994

Telegraph: Samuel F.B. Morse demonstrated an electromagnetic telegraph in 1837 and won the U.S. patent; the same year, Charles Wheatstone and William Fothergill Cooke won the British patent. Morse transmitted the first long-distance telegraph message, "What hath God wrought" from Washington, D.C., to his assistant, Alfred Vail, in Baltimore on May 24, 1844. *

Transatlantic cable: Completed in 1866 by American merchant and promoter Cyrus W. Field, it allowed instantaneous communication between two continents for the first time. *

Radio: First authentic patent for communication via electromagnetic waves was granted to Italian-Irishman Marchese Guglielmo Marconi on June 2, 1896. His company put the first permanent wireless installation on the Isle of Wight, Britain, in November, 1897. *

Transatlantic radio: The first transatlantic transmission was the letter "S" in Morse Code sent from Poldhu, Britain, to Signal Hill, St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada, on Dec. 12, 1901. The receiving antenna was a wired kite. *

TV transmissions: John Logie Baird of Scotland transmitted the image of a Maltese cross over a distance of 10 feet at 8 Queen's Arcade, Hastings, Britain, in February, 1924. The first transatlantic transmission sent the image of Baird and a Mrs. Howe from Station 2 KZ at Coulsdon, Britain, to Station 2 CVJ, Hartsdale, N.Y., on Feb. 9, 1928. *

Biggest TV audiences: About 2 billion--more than one-third of the world's people--for 1994 soccer World Cup final game in Los Angeles on July 17. About 2.5 billion for 23rd Olympic Games in Los Angeles, July 27 to Aug. 13, 1984. About 1.6 billion for Live Aid concerts organized by Bob Geldof and Bill Graham. *

Computers: First programmable electronic computer was 1,500-valve Colossus formulated by Prof. Max H.A. Newman and built by T.H. Flowers. It ran in December, 1943, at Bletchley Park, Britain, to break the German coding machine Enigma. *

Computer network: The system that evolved into Internet, the world's largest computer network, began in 1968 as a U.S. Defense Department project that linked computer-science departments at seven universities.

Sources: The Guinness Book of Records, 1994; The First of Everything; Net Guide

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