Speaking of the history of the Internet...
I have had SO much fun exploring really cool and informative sites for youngsters (I'm going into Children's Services, obviously)The following site presents Internet (and other technologies like cell phones and e mail) basics but explained in terms a kid (or someone like me) can understand!
Internet basics 4 Kids
Check out this wonderfully concise excerpt from the site,
"The Internet was conceived in the 1960s as a tool to link university and government research centers via a nationwide network that would allow a wide variety of computers to exchange information and share resources. The engineering challenges were manifold and complex, beginning with the design of a packet switching network-a system that could make computers communicate with each other without the need for a traditional central system... The Internet is not owned or controlled by any company, corporation, or nation. It connects people in 65 countries instantaneously through computers, fiber optics, satellites, and phone lines. It is changing cultural patterns, business practices, the consumer industry, and research and educational pursuits."
Cute. The site is simple and has a chubby little cat character as it's spokesperson.
This site is not necessarily just for kids, but it's really designed simply and is easy to navigate. Take a gander.
It was created between 1996-1999 and posted in 2000, but provides a lot of really great information about the history of the Internet.
I particularly enjoyed reading about Vannevar Bush's very early concept of what would one day develop into the Internet as we know it today.
"Consider a future device for individual use, which is a sort of mechanized private file and library. It needs a name, and to coin one at random, "memex" will do. A memex is a device in which an individual stores all his books, records, and communications, and which is mechanized so that it may be consulted with exceeding speed and flexibility. It is an enlarged intimate supplement to his memory.
It consists of a desk, and while it can presumably be operated from a distance, it is primarily the piece of furniture at which he works. On the top are slanting translucent screens, on which material can be projected for convenient reading. There is a keyboard, and sets of buttons and levers. Otherwise it looks like an ordinary desk."
- Vannevar Bush; As We May Think; Atlantic Monthly; July 1945