Verizon announced this morning plans to buy Internet services icon AOL in a $4.4 billion deal. Here are some highlights of AOL's history.

Verizon announced this morning plans to buy Internet services icon AOL in a $4.4 billion deal. Here are some highlights of AOL's history.

1985: Company is founded as Quantum Computer Services and offers an online service named Q-Link.

1989: Quantum launches instant messenger service that greets users with the saying "You've got mail!"

1991: The company is renamed America Online through an employee contest.

1992: America Online, commonly called AOL, goes public on the NASDAQ exchange.

1993: AOL starts sending disks to thousands of households to connect them to the Internet.

1995: AOL's service reaches 1 million members, the company debuts its AOL.com homepage and expands internationally.

1996: AOL hits 5 million members and launches the Buddy List for chatting.

2001: AOL merges with Time Warner Inc.

2006: Company officially changes its name to AOL and starts offering its services for free.

2009: Time Warner spins off AOL, ending a union widely viewed as one of the worst mergers in history.

2011: Company purchases The Huffington Post.

2014: AOL creates joint venture with investment firm Hale Global to run its troubled local-news business Patch.

Sources: AOL.com, SEC filings, Associated Press reports.