HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - Saturday marked the 170th anniversary of the first 'World Wide Web.'
In 1844, Samuel Morse activated the first telegraph line, sending a dots-and-dashes code message from the U.S. Capitol building to a receiver in Baltimore.
"What hath God wrought?" was the first message transmitted by wire, suggested to Morse by the daughter of a friend according to the Library of Congress.
The ability of the telegraph to communicate quickly over long distances made it an instant success. By 1861, telegraph lines spanned the continental United States, then soon the world.
The U.S. Census Bureau said that from the 1844 demonstration, telecommunications today has grown into a half-billion-dollar per year industry and employs nearly 1.1 million workers.
The medium has grown from wired to wireless technology; from Morse code to voice and digital data.
That growth continues today in leaps and bounds, with recent news of telecommunications giant AT&T's deal to purchase satellite television provider DirecTV. Closer to home, Verizon recently announced the addition of 400 jobs in Alabama, with 300 of those expected to come to the Huntsville customer service center.