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Area Code Day

Area Code Day celebrates the numbers that precede a normal seven digit phone number, which were devised in the 1940's by AT&T for the Bell System, and came into full implementation with the creation of the North American Numbering Plan (NANP) in 1947. Most countries in North America are part of the NANP, and different service areas are divided into numbering plan areas. The number prefix that each area has is called the numbering plan area code, or area code, for short. Initially the first number of the three digit code could be 2 through 9, the second digit had to be a 0 or 1, and the third digit could be any number, although none ended in 0 until the toll-free code 800 was introduced. In 1995 it was changed so that the center digit could be any number but 9. Area codes are often preceded by the national access code, which is 1 in the United States, and 0 in many other countries. It is unclear why November 10 was chosen as the celebration of the day. In a sense, by celebrating area codes, Area Code Day is also celebrating the ability to call long distances, and not just to those in your immediate area.

How to Observe Area Code Day

Celebrate the day by calling someone out of your area code. In most cases this will mean that you will be calling someone out of state, but not always. Let this be an excuse to reconnect with an old friend without using social media, and tell them that it's Area Code Day! You could also spend the day visiting a telephone museum. There are a decent amount of them, but chances are that you'll still have to travel to a different area code to visit one!

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