Nov 10, 1951. The 10-digit North American Numbering Plan, which provides area codes for Canada, the US and many Caribbean nations, was devised in 1947 by AT& T and Bell Labs. Eighty-four area codes were assigned. However, all long-distance calls at that time were operator-assisted. On this date in 1951, the mayor of Englewood, NJ (area code 201), direct-dialed the mayor of Alameda, CA. By 1960 all telephone customers could dial long-distance calls. The system is administered by the North American Numbering Plan Administration.
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