Google updated News Archive, the service that extends the reach of Google News to older events. The timeline view includes web pages that describe events from the past, shows charts and better snippets (here's the old interface). But there's something interesting about this service that will probably be implemented in Google's main search interface: the search results actually create a readable web page. There are many sites on the web that try to capture the most important events related to a person, a concept, a technology and Google dynamically builds meaningful timelines. Google also adds links to some parts of the snippets and points to the search results for that terms, the same as online encyclopedias link to related articles.
At some point, search engines will learn so many things from web pages, from books and scientific papers that search results will be replaced by a coherent answer that uses information from a lot of sources. For now, Google tests some alternate views that add a new dimension to search results.