On this day in 2001, Wikipedia, a small, experimental project with a big mission was introduced to the world by Founder Jimmy Wales. Nine years later, growing at unprecedented speed, due to the dedicated and enthusiastic support of volunteers and contributors, Wikipedia has evolved into one of the most important sources of free information and knowledge in the world.  Happy birthday, Wikipedia!

In 2002, only celebrating one year of existence, Wikipedia grew to over 20,000 articles– and in its second year,  130,000 articles in 28 languages. To wax nostalgic, you can turn back the hands of time and rummage through “vintage” Wikipedia here. Since then, over 14 million articles in 270 languages have been created.  For millions of people everywhere, Wikipedia has become an indispensable part of their daily lives– a resource relied on by hundreds of millions of  visitors a month — and growing.

In celebration of this milestone, Wikipedians in Bangalore, India and New York City have planned events.  If you’re celebrating with us, post a comment and tell us how, or even better, add photos to Wikimedia Commons.

Thanks, Wikipedia! Here’s to another year wiser!

Moka Pantages, Communications