29 October 1969 was when they connected four computers and passed the first MESSAGE between them.
The first message ever sent over the ARPANET (sent over the first host-to-host connection) occurred at 10:30 PM on October 29, 1969. It was sent by UCLA student programmer Charley Kline and supervised by UCLA Professor Leonard Kleinrock. The message was sent from the UCLA SDS Sigma 7 Host computer to the SRI SDS 940 Host computer. The message itself was simply the word "login." The "l" and the "o" transmitted without problem but then the system crashed. Hence, the first message on the ARPANET was "lo". They were able to do the full login about an hour later.
Happy birthday Internet! (er, again!)
Let's celebrate again next month when the first permanent link was established.