Published Friday, January 27, 2006 by Vurdlak.
Update: I got response that apprently there were emoticons already in 70's done on PLATO. More info: here (but the post still applies since it talks about originall smiley ":-)"
The smiley :-) and its many variants are an important (and fun!) part of the worldwide online social culture -- allowing emotions to be conveyed in plain text. It has been in widespread use since the early '80s, when it was first proposed. Yet the original message in which the smiley was invented had been lost -- until recently. After a significant effort to locate it, on September 10, 2002 the original post made by Scott Fahlman on CMU CS general bboard was retrieved from an October 1982 backup tape. Visit Scott's page about his Smiley Invention here. You can also browse to see the post in context: the "joke" thread on the bboard that led to the invention of the smiley. For even more context you can view the full contents of the bboard from the October 1982 spice vax backup tape. Here is Scott's original post:
19-Sep-82 11:44 Scott E Fahlman :-)
From: Scott E Fahlman
I propose that the following character sequence
for joke markers: :-)
Read it sideways. Actually, it is probably more
economical to mark things that are NOT jokes,
given current trends. For this, use :-(