I heard today the sad news that one of the "grandfathers" of string, Hector Rubenstein, recently passed away. He was Gabriele Veneziano's PhD advisor---or so I understand. Also that of Miguel Virasoro. Here is a memoir about the string-beginnings written by Rubenstein: The Birth of the Veneziano Model and String Theory http://www.physto.se/~rub/gabriele/gab.ps [Broken] Sad though that news is, it reminds us to celebrate the 40th birthday of the Veneziano model. It was Veneziano's equation that got Leonard Susskind started. The story is he studied Veneziano's paper for several months and then began talking about particles being vibration modes. If anybody has some additional knowledge about these roots in antiquity, please share them. Apparently the early days that Rubenstein recalls go back to the Weizmann Institute, in 1966. The Weizmann is a few kilometers south of Tel Aviv. His memoir has a photograph of himself, Veneziano, Virasoro, Sergio Fubini and others, which was taken there. The developments he recounts occurred mainly in 1967-1969. He includes the photo of a crucial handwritten letter (English) which he received from Veneziano in 1968. The Veneziano model evidently got around at first by private communication and then was published either that same year or the next. I think the initial paper was:  G. Veneziano, “Construction of a Crossing-Symmetric Regge-Behaved Amplitude for Linearly Rising Regge Trajectories,” Nuovo Cim. 57A, 190 (1968). Susskind followed up in 1969.  L. Susskind, “Harmonic Oscillator Analogy for the Veneziano Amplitude,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 23, 545 (1969). These references are from John Schwarz' history: http://arxiv.org/abs/hep-th/0007118 Thanks to both Arivero and Thomas Larsson for calling my attention to these important people and events.