On April 26, 1985, a man called Charles Hornig complained on a mailing list that his new symbolics.com email address wasn't working. Scanning every mail server on the internet, all 1,008 of them, he discovered only one was configured to handle a .com address.
“I am not heartened by these results,” he wrote. “Maybe we should go back to .ARPA, which people at least understand?”
Twenty-five years ago today, his company, Symbolics, was the first to register a .com domain name. It was over a month before the second was registered and only three more were registered that year.
Today, there are almost 90 million .coms, with half a million new ones added every week. VeriSign, the .com registry, handles over 50 billion DNS queries every day. It's difficult to imagine an internet without it.