On this day 35 years ago, the emoticon was born when Carnegie Mellon University professor Scott Fahlman proposed punctuating computer messages with a colon-hyphen-parenthesis to make a “smiley face.” (1982)
As social media has become widespread, stylized pictures of emoticons have taken text-based cyber communication to the next level, providing ways to express a range of “tone” and feelings through the use of facial images without the need for punctuation.
(Featured photo by DBduo Photography-CC)
MORE Good News on this Day:
- George Washington’s farewell address to the nation was published, in which he advised, “Observe good faith and justice toward all nations. Cultivate peace and harmony with all.” (1796)
- American colonial soldiers won the first Battle of Saratoga during the Revolutionary War (1777)
- New Zealand law bestowed on all women in that nation the right to vote (1893)
- Greg Louganis suffered a head injury while qualifying for the Seoul Olympics, before going on to win two Gold medals (1988)
- Pitcher Mariano Rivera of the New York Yankees became Major League Baseball’s all time saves leader with 602 (2011)
Also on this day in 1991, “The Iceman”, a well-preserved natural mummy of a man who lived around 3,300 BCE, was discovered by German tourists in an Alpine glacier. It later offered a rare glimpse into the abilities and lifestyle of men who lived in Europe 5,300 years ago.
And, on this day in 1970, The Mary Tyler Moore Show debuted as a TV sitcom on CBS. The program, co-created by James Brooks and lasting for 7 years, was a television breakthrough, with its never-married, independent career woman as the central character. The show won 29 Emmy Awards and changed sitcoms forever when it began discussing controversial topics in a humorous way. In the third season, equal pay for women, pre-marital sex, and homosexuality were woven into the show’s comedic plots, and later, marital infidelity and divorce. In the final seasons, the show explored death (see the Chuckles the Clown funeral scene below), juvenile delinquency, infertility, adoption, and Mary’s addiction to sleeping pills. The final episode became the gold standard for how to end a show. Today, you can watch full episodes for free on YouTube.