On the Origin Of The Universe (or at least our part of it...) Answered
In the course of a conversation in the chatroom, I triggered myself to go look up old RFC's. I found http://www.faqs.org/rfcs/rfc-sidx1.html . It's kind of like stumbling across Moses' chicken-scrawled first drafts of Genesis...
A couple of selected quotes,
From RFC-6 (A Conversation with Bob Kahn), "BB&N is prepared to convert 6, 7, 8, or 9 bit character codes into 8-bit ASCII for transmission and convert again upon assembly at the destination IMP." So ASCII was not a standard data protocol yet.
From RFC-82 (Network Meeting Notes), "ARPA will not pay for the coffee and pastry being served, so please chip in to help me pay for it."
[Edit 23 Jul 2009: Fixed URL above to eliminate spurious period.]