History of Plasma TV's?

I have a friend (non-audiophile) who made some interesting statements about plasma TV's:

1) The US military was using plasma displays back in the 1960's, and he personally saw them in use on naval vessels during his service in Vietnam (although these were mono-chromatic displays).

2) Playboy magazine carried advertisements for a plasma TV back in the late 1960's. This was a limited luxury production item for the "select few" that sold for about $40,000 ($80,000 in today's dollars?)

3) The first current generation plasma TV's that he saw (Best Buys) were only available in the TV aspect ratio, and not the widescreen theater aspect ratio. In addition, they were sold with no manufacturer's warrantee, and one had to buy a rather expensive service contract for warrantee service.

I am still using my Pioneer 51" rear projection TV (circa 1998) so I'm trying to remember in which year plasma TV's started to be marketed as a common stock item (i.e.: not the first one "on the block", as well as many manufacturers offering different models).
Items 1 and 2 are almost certainly incorrect according to the History from the University of Illinois where technology was invented (at least according to them). Didn't read the entire article so not sure if item 3 ias correct.
In the early 1990s, I created a mixed metallo-organic/cermet silver to be used as the conductors in the plasma screens for the television technology that was being developed in Japan. Interestingly, the different parts of the technology (tuners, screens, etc.) were doled out to the various companies to develop - it was a collaborative effort for the Japanese government/electronic industry. I discovered something by accident that made everything click, and was told by Fujitsu/Asahi (who were responsible for the screens) that it was truly a worldwide breakthrough.

It was fully expected that they would simply have my company do the R&D, formulation, testing, and scale up, only to have them steal it - which they did. It was their M.O. (for those who complain about China, it's nothing new). I worked on it for a good while, and I guess my company made enough money on it to go along with it all. Like many Americans at the time, my resentment for the Japanese was quite real, this episode only added to things.

From what we were told at the time, the technology was already viable, they were just assembling the materials, suppliers, and components. We were given literature and demonstrations, and it was quite impressive. For a guy who was brought up thinking the 25" television was a destination in life, to see 41" (actually became 42" in production) and 61" screens of such quality was something akin to one's first audiophile moment.

The feeling of being part of the movement was absolutely thrilling and I wouldn't trade the memories for anything.