Nov. 10: Area Codes Anniversary (USA/Canada)



The first phone call using the new “area codes” was made on November 10, 1951. The mayor of Englewood, New Jersey phoned — “directly dialed” — the mayor of Alameda, California. Prior to this phone call, all long-distance phone calls were operator-assisted.

To read more about the fascinating topic of area codes, visit the website of NANPA (North American Numbering Plan Administration).

Area Code Trivia. Be a hit at the next dinner party you attend. Throw out a few of these:

  • California has the most area codes: 26. Texas is second: 24. Florida has 16. New York 14.
  • At the other end of the scale — states having one area code for the entire state: Alaska, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Maine, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont,  West Virginia, Wyoming.
  • The only adjacent consecutive area codes are 307 in Wyoming and 308 in Western Nebraska.

For more trivia like this, visit Absolutely Useless Trivia and Fun Trivia. These websites explain how area codes are assigned. It has to do with the fact that, when they were developed, rotary dial phone were in use; and higher numbers take longer to dial than lower numbers. It’s a fascinating story.


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