Queen Elizabeth Beat Al Gore To The Internet By A Two Decades

Photo: Peter Kirstein

Photo: Peter Kirstein

From Wired Magazine:

Peter Kirstein is the man who put the Queen of England on the internet. In 1976.

That’s Her Majesty in the photo above, and if the year isn’t immediately obvious from the computer terminal she’s typing on — or from her attire — you can find it on the wall, just to her left, printed on one of the signs trumpeting the arrival of the ARPANET.

The date was March 26, 1976, and the ARPANET — the computer network that eventually morphed into the internet — had just come to the Royal Signals and Radar Establishment, a telecommunications research center in Malvern, England. The Queen was on hand to christen the connection, and in the process, she became one of the first heads of state to send an e-mail.

It was Peter Kirstein who set up her mail account, choosing the username “HME2.” That’s Her Majesty, Elizabeth II. “All she had to do was press a couple of buttons,” he remembers, “and her message was sent.”

Fortunately Al Gore would come along in the mid 90’s to “create” the Internet (Gore quote “During my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating the Internet.”), much to the surprise of many who had been using it for years prior…

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