In March 1989, Tim Berners-Lee wrote the first proposal for the World Wide Web at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, in Geneva, Switzerland.
Titled "Information Management: A Proposal", the document opened with this statement: "This proposal concerns the management of general information about accelerators and experiments at CERN. It discusses the problems of loss of information about complex evolving systems and derives a solution based on a distributed hypertext system."
The proposal, submitted on March 13, built on ideas that Berners-Lee had been working on with Belgian systems engineer Robert Cailliau. Outlining the central concepts and defining terms behind the Web, the document described a "hypertext project" called "WorldWideWeb" in which a "web" of "hypertext documents" could be viewed by "browsers."
None of this technical jargon may sound especially sexy, but today, this system has come to touch nearly every part of our lives. Here's a look at how the Web got started.
Shown here in 1991 with Berners-Lee and a Next computer is Nicola Pellow, who wrote the original line-mode browser for the Web. The simple browser -- which could show only 24 rows of 80 characters -- worked with a wide variety of computers and terminals.
This document from April 30, 1993, officially put the World Wide into the public domain, according to CERN. The term "W3" didn't catch on, but within a few year, the Web certainly did, and the rest was history.