This week in 1876 – Alexander Graham Bell sent the first clear telephone message — into a nearby room — to his assistant, Thomas Watson. “Mr. Watson, come here, I want you,” were the first words spoken into the invention that Bell had created.
In 1891 – Almon Strowger, an undertaker in Topeka, Kansas, patented the Strowger switch, a device which led to the automation of telephone circuit switching.
1961 – Sputnik 9 successfully launched, carrying a mannequin named Ivan Ivanovich – along with a dog, various reptiles, and eighty mice and guinea pigs – demonstrating that the Soviet Union was ready to begin human spaceflight.
And this week in 2009 – The Kepler space observatory, designed to discover Earth-like planets orbiting other stars, is launched.