Cucumber green mottle mosaic virus (CGMMV) was first described in 1935 infecting cucumber, making it one of the first plant viruses to be studied. Its initial distribution occurred out of England to other countries. This was followed by its distribution from England and these other countries to additional countries. This process increased slowly between 1935 and 1985, faster between 1986 and 2006, and rapidly between 2007 and 2016. The discovery that it diminished cucurbit fruit yields and quality, especially of watermelon, prompted a substantial research effort in worst-affected countries. These efforts included obtaining insight into its particle and genome characteristics, evolution, and epidemiology. CGMMV's particle stability, ease of contact transmission, and seed transmissibility, which are typical tobamovirus characteristics, explained its complex disease cycle and its ability to spread locally or over long distances without a vector. Knowledge of its disease etiology and epidemiology enabled development of integrated disease management approaches that rely heavily on diverse phytosanitary measures. Dispersal of seed-borne infection through the international seed trade following cucurbit seed crop production in tropical or subtropical countries explains its recent rapid dispersion worldwide.