Ethereum was announced by Vitalik in January 2014, so perhaps its too short to be considered history. A good story of Ethereum’s early days is here.
Ethereum Network Development Plan
At its outset, Ethereum was a designed as a development program. Four releases were initially foreseen; Frontier, Homestead, Metropolis and Serenity. Metropolis has now been split into two mini releases Byzantium and Constantinople. Serenity was defined as the major release which would be ready for global use on many parallel applications. It remains to be seen how many steps will be required before the goals of Serenity are realized.
One of the greatest advantages of Ethereum over Bitcoin is this development plan. Clear written goals with interim steps makes the user base much more open to the hard forks and disruption as the network develops. Bitcoin was designed as a proof of concept that has turned into a currency. Its final evolution was never written down with a plan for implementation. As such it is difficult to get their community to agree on changes, as the SegWit battle of July 2017 clearly demonstrated.
Ethereum History Milestones
Ethereum formally announced Jan 25, 2014 at a bitcoin conference
April 2014, Ethereum Yellow Paper
June 2014 Ethereum office opens in Zug, Switzerland, Initial Ether CrowdSale
Nov 2014 Devcon 0 held in Berlin
July 2015 Frontier launched
Nov 2015 Devcon 1, London
Mar 2016 HomeStead launched
Jul 2016 DAO Hack (Ethereum Classic created)
May 2017 Ethereum Name Service Launched
Jan 2017 ICO Rush begins
Oct 2017 Metropolis Byzantium launched
Nov 2017 CryptoKitties!