Morse Code Day

May 24th is known as “Morse Code Day” because the first official message was sent over the Baltimore-Washington telegraph line by Samuel F. B. Morse on May 24, 1844.   The message?  “What hath God wrought!”

Morse Code was initially developed by Morse in the 1830s as a system of electrical telegraphy.  It uses dashes, dots, and spaces to represent letters, numbers and punctuation.  It is sent as short and long pulses or flashes of light.  It was improved by Morse’s assistant and partner, Alfred Lewis Vail, and further developed at a European conference in the 1950’s.  This newer version accounted for non-English text that would change the pronunciation or meaning of a word.  This message transmission was used in wars in the 20th century and in the shipping industry into the 1990’s.

Practice writing and sending messages using the code.