1988 (MCMLXXXVIII) was a leap year starting on Friday of the Gregorian calendar, the 1988th year of the Common Era (CE) and Anno Domini (AD) designations, the 988th year of the 2nd millennium, the 88th year of the 20th century, and the 9th year of the 1980s decade. In the 20th century, the year 1988 has the most Roman numeral digits (11). 1988 was a crucial year in the early history of the Internet—it was the year of the first well-known computer virus, the 1988 Internet worm. The first permanent intercontinental Internet link was made between the United States (NSFNET) and Europe (Nordunet) as well as the first Internet-based chat protocol, Internet Relay Chat. The concept of the World Wide Web was first discussed at CERN in 1988.The Soviet Union began its major deconstructing towards a mixed economy at the beginning of 1988 and began its gradual dissolution. The Iron Curtain began to disintegrate in 1988 as Hungary began allowing freer travel to the West. The first extrasolar planet, Gamma Cephei Ab (confirmed in 2002) was detected this year and the World Health Organization began its mission to eradicate polio.
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