This timeline is a stub providing links to several noteworthy developments in GUI technology.

The John Kheit has much the same to say as I on the need to learn from the past.

Another take:

1963 - Douglas Englebert invents the Mouse @ SRI

1963 - Ivan Sutherland creates Sketchpad

Sketchpad was the first program ever to utilize a complete graphical user interface. Sketchpad used an x-y point plotter display as well as the then recently invented light pen. The clever way the program organized its geometric data pioneered the use of "objects" and "instances" in computing and pointed forward to object oriented programming. The main idea was to have master drawings which one could instantiate into many duplicates. If the user changed the master drawing all the instances would change as well. Another major invention in Sketchpad was to let the user easily constrain selected geometrical properties in the drawing. For instance the length of a line or that two lines should have a specific angle between them.

Evans & Sutherland came did their seminal work at Univeristy of Utah, and did Alan Kay got his PhD there. It also seems some TREEMETA work occurred there, by C.S. Carr.

1968 - The Mother of All Demos

1975 - Gypsy created @ Xerox PARC

1972 Alan Kay's Memo, 1973 Alto, 1974 Bravo, 1975 Gypsy.

Steve Jobs takes the tour in 1980?

1979 - Dan Bricklin creates VisiCalc

1980 - Smalltalk-80 arrives

1983 - Symbolics 3600 arrives

1984 - Apple delivers Macintosh

1986? - Rusty Tucker creates TeleFinder

TeleFinder, the first GUI BBS was created for Macintosh (the only GUI personal computer available to the public) by Rusty Tucker (as a diversion from writing test programs for Rockwell modem chips). When Steve Case started AOL, when he had to describe it over the phone, he'd say "Have you seen TeleFinder? It's like that."

1988 - WingZ created

1989 - NeXT Cubes arrive

1991 - Notebook GUI for Stephen Wolfram's Mathematica

1991 - First HTTP Server online @ CERN

In 1999, Berners-Lee commented on the NeXT Computer on which he ran the first Web server and created the first web browser and editor: "The NeXT interface was beautiful, smooth, and consistent. It had great flexibility, and other features that would not be seen on PCs until later, such as voice e-mail, and a built-in synthesizer. It also had software to create a hypertext program. Its failure to take over the industry, despite all these advantages, became for me a cautionary tale. NeXT required users to accept all these innovations at once - too much." Interface Builder Demo

1993? - SGI ships IRIS Inventor

This leads to OpenGL, VRML, and SVG. Builds on the Evans & Sutherland work (which was extensive).

1994 - Mosaic arrives for Mac & Windows from NCSA

In the 36 months from January of 1993 to December of 1995, HTML went from being an unknown protocol to being to being the pre-eminent tool for designing electronic interfaces, decisively displacing almost all challengers and upstaging online services, CD-ROMs, and a dozen expensive and abortive experiments with interactive TV, and it did this while having no coordinated center, no central R&D effort, and no discernible financial incentive for the majority of its initial participants.

1995 - Windows 95

Windows 95 arrives with address space protection and a GUI that for most folks seems to be about as good as Mac OS.