The Deja News/Google Usenet archive began as the personal archival project of Henry Spencer after he took over the Duke University Usenet feed in 1981. You can read more about Henry Spencer, including an interview, at our Usenet History Project site. By the time Spencer handed his archives over to Deja News he had accumulated more than two million articles dating from 1981, including Nashau's DEC Unix announcement.
The Deja News/Google archive and all of its millions of archived articles are important historical resources and certainly document an exciting time in computing history. The early 1981 DEC post may be one of the earliest archived Usenet articles, but Usenet had been humming along for two years before Spencer started his archive and the Unix post was captured for the future's eyes. Get details about the earliest days of Usenet by visiting Giganews's Usenet History Project at http://www.giganews.com/usenet-history/index.html.