It's been 50 years since ARPANET got one computer to communicate with another computer on October 29, 1969, laying the foundation of communications that would eventually give rise to the internet. It was quite a few years before that method of communication became available to the general public in the form of the World Wide Web, and engineers had no clue as to how we would use it. In celebration of the milestone, we get a condensed history of websites. These are not the most popular or the longest-lived, nor are they ranked, but a timeline of the websites that changed the way we live, work, and communicate. The first is CERN.
December 20, 1990 didn’t feel historic at the time, but it was the day a British computer scientist in the Swiss Alps published the first-ever website at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN).
From his NeXT computer, Tim Berners-Lee published, appropriately enough, a primer on the web, explaining the concept of hypertext and describing how to set up a server.
But Berners-Lee didn’t share the site with the public until a year later, when he told his friends in the alt.hypertext newsgroup about his creation. It would take another couple of years and the arrival of the first “killer app”—the browser Mosaic—for the web to catch on.
In 2013, to mark the 20th anniversary of making the web available to anyone, CERN recreated the original website in all of its black, white, and blue glory.