In December 1977, the revised language specification of ADA was published in SIGPLAN, the Special Interest Group on Programming Languages. Actually, this is a small event within the long history of ADA birth.
In 1973, the US Department of Defense (DoD) was spending $3 billion annually on software. At this time, more than 450 programming languages were used to implement different DoD projects, and none of them were standardized. For these reasons, the Army, Navy, and Air Force proposed to develop a common and standardized high-level language for use in the development of large military systems.
In 1975, the Higher Order Language Working Group (HOLWG) was formed for evaluating existing language and think about an ideal language specification. 23 languages were tested, but none of them were accepted. The first ADA language specification appeared in early 1977 and four software companies began parallel production of a prototype language.
In may 1979 the French CIE CII Honeywell/Bull (the only foreign contractor) won the challenge and the language design was tested by thousands of programmers in the world who reported bugs and wishes. Based on these informations, the final version of ADA was born in early 1980. The language was then standardized in 1983, and revised in 1995.
The language was first named "DoD-1", but the name ADA was finally retained in 1979 by the Working Group in honour of Countess Augusta Ada Lovelace, the daughter of poet Lord Byron and a mathematician who worked with Charles Babbage on his engines and thus is considered the world's first computer programmer.