On days that are quiet with respect to solar-terrestrial activity phenomena, the geomagnetic field has variations, tens of gamma in size, with major spectral components at about 24, 12, 8, and 6 hr in period. These quiet daily field variations are primarily due to the dynamo currents flowing in the E region of the earth's ionosphere, are driven by the global thermotidal wind systems, and are dependent upon the local tensor conductivity and main geomagnetic field vector. The highlights of the behavior and interpretation of these quiet field changes, from their discovery in 1634 until the present, are discussed as an introduction to the special journal issue on Quiet Daily Geomagnetic Fields. ?? 1989 Birkha??user Verlag.