On ENIAC's Birthday: Looking Ahead

From the City of Philadelphia

The Mayor's Proclamation

A small group of patriots met in Independence Hall in Philadelphia in 1776 and created a document, the Declaration of Independence, and a country, the United States of America, that changed the world. In 1942, a small group of faculty and graduate students met at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia and began to create a concept that would equally change the world. On February 14, 1946 this team of pioneers unveiled and publicly demonstrated the world's first large-scale general purpose electronic computer--ENIAC, the "Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer"--the machine that gave birth to the Information Age.

Fifty years later, the University of Pennsylvania, the City of Philadelphia, and many of the leading figures in the industry that ENIAC launched will hold an 18-month celebration of the 50th anniversary of this machine that sparked the Information Revolution. Computing pioneers and major contributors to the industry will be honored; a major new science and technology exhibit will be opened; on-line information about Philadelphia and the region will be greatly expanded; a series of symposia will bring together scholars and experts from around the world to the University of Pennsylvania to explore and discuss the future of computing; the ACM/Association for Computing will mark its concurrent 50th anniversary with its annual conference in Philadelphia during the ENIAC anniversary week; major exhibits exploring the influence of computers on arts and science will be held at museums and art galleries across the city; and a network of interactive tourism kiosks will be installed throughout the city.

It is fitting and appropriate, therefore, that the City of Philadelphia officially recognize with this Tribute to

ENIAC 50th Celebration Year

for one of the most important spheres that will affect the future of this city is information technology, its multi-faceted impact on the students in its schools, the workers in its businesses and the management of governmental resources. As the birthplace of our country and the birthplace of information technology, Philadelphia continues as a global leader in this critically influential area.

--Edward G. Rendell, Mayor
February 14, 1996

Speech by U.S. Vice President Al Gore.

Speech by Penn President Judith Rodin.

Almanac Supplement

February 20, 1996
Volume 42 Number 21

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