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Serious Debugging

September 9, 2014

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Profile America — Tuesday, September 9th. The first instance of debugging a computer was recorded on this date in 1947. The early Mark II computer being developed at Harvard University was balky, and a programming team-- which included Navy Lieutenant Grace Hopper, a pioneer in computer history--found and fixed the problem. A moth had wedged into a relay board, causing a short circuit. The deceased moth was extracted and preserved. The log card containing notes on the de-bugging, and the appended remains of the moth, was preserved for a time by a Navy museum in Virginia, and more recently, by the Smithsonian Institution. With moths and other bugs banished from circuits and chips, nearly 79 percent of U.S. households have computers, and about 75 percent of households access the internet. You can find more facts about America from the U.S. Census Bureau, online at

Sources: Kane's Famous First Facts, 2527,/is/,/7680/,/false/,/true&style=single&searchdesc=Grace%20Murray%20Hopper t. 4

Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Public Information Office | Last Revised: August 28, 2014