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SMS from the year 1969, Android 3.2 help [From the Forums]

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It has to do with the feature called "NITZ" its the system that your phones to pull the time, for timestamps on the sms. when you send a text message it goes to the message service center, called the MSC. and from there it goes to the person that you selected. when it passes through the MSC, thats when it gets the timestamp. so if the nitz fails then it defaults to that date
Source(s):
T-Mobile Call Center Employee