SIGMOD was founded in 1976, evolving out of SIGFIDET. In January, 1969, FIDET was started by Diane and John Smith, James Rothnie, and others as a S.I.C. (Special Interest Committee on File Description and Translation). In September 1970 it became a SIG. The SIGMOD Anthology contains the SIGFIDET workshops of 1970, 1971, 1972, and 1974 and FDT volumes: FDT volume 1 (1969), 3 (1971), 4 (1972), 5 (1973), 6 (1974), 7 (1975), and 8 (1976). (If anyone has a copy of volume 2, 1970, please let us know!) The original mission was “Taxonomics of data and Store structures; Data Independence; Data Description Languages; description for large databases and networks; and Description for efficiency of storage use.”

In 1974 the SIG decided to rename itself SIGMOD (Special Interest Group on Management of Data) and the Chair of SIGFIDET, Bernard Plagman, became the Chair of SIGMOD. The newsletter was renamed SIGMOD Record and its first volume was numbered volume 9, appearing in 1977.

The SIGMOD Conference started in 1975 in San Jose; Frank King was the first program chair. The PODS Conference started in 1982 in Los Angeles; Alfred V. Aho was the first PODS program chair.  The two conferences became co-convened in 1991 in Denver, in a successful attempt to encourage interactions between the theory and systems cadres within the overall database community.