Emoticons made their debut today in the magazine Puck 132 years ago. You can see the short article here describing them as typograpical art.
Since then, they have come a long way and especially were popularized with the emergence of the Internet and Instant Messaging. Today we can hardly imagine ourselves chatting or e-mailing without these little creaters. Personally, I would like to thank them for easing any online awkwardness that has occurred in my 15 year internet career. Thanks a bunch guys and may you live to many more 🙂
p.s. My favorite emoticons today are >>>
Flipping table emoticon (ﾉಥ益ಥ）ﾉ ┻━┻
CSI emoticon (•_•)