Carl Bildt and Bill Clinton make history with their e-mails
On February 5th in 1994, the Prime Minister of Sweden Carl Bildt writes an e-mail to the President of the United States Bill Clinton (and receives a response). This is the first time that two heads of governments are writing over the internet.
The e-mail is the first in the world to be sent between to heads of government. Both sides also write press releases to commemorate the historic event, and there is a lot of reporting in Swedish as well as international press.
Read the historic e-mail
This is what Carl Bildt write to Bill Clinton:
Apart from testing this connection on the global Internet system, I want to congratulate you on your decision to end the trade embargo on Vietnam. I am planning to go to Vietnam in April and will certainly use the occasion to take up the question of the MIA's. From the Swedish side we have tried to be helpful on this issue in the past, and we will continue to use the contacts we might have.
Sweden is—as you know—one of the leading countries in the world in the field of telecommunications, and it is only appropriate that we should be among the first to use the Internet also for political contacts and communications around the globe.
Did Clinton really respond himself?
According to Skip Rutherford, head of the Clinton Presidential Foundation, which among other things handle almost 40 million e-mail messages from the Clinton era, Bill Clinton only sent two e-mails himself during his eight years in the White House. One was an empty testing e-mail, and the other went to an astronaut in space. So probably someone from the Clinton staff wrote the respons to Carl Bildt.