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by 1955, said to have been invented in 1918 by David Jung, Chinese immigrant to America who established Hong Kong Noodle Co., who handed out cookies that contained uplifting messages as a promotional gimmick.
(WAITS, via the Unix "fortune" program) A quotation, item of trivia, joke, or maxim selected at random from a collection (the "cookie file") and printed to the user's tty at login time or (less commonly) at logout time.
There was a fortune program on TOPS-20.