The Lightning Network history is currently pretty short, but growing (presented in reverse chronological order).
- Lightning Network History Infographic - Here’s a great infographic that shows the early history of the Lightning Network. Posted by jonneton on Reddit.
- History of Lightning Network video - A technical history of bitcoin developments leading up to the development of the Lightning Network from Christian Decker, Blockstream, c-lightning engineer. YouTube Video 50:48.
- Blockstream releases c-lightning Server - Blockstream releases version 0.6 of the c-lightning server. https://blockstream.com/2018/06/25/en-c-lightning-06/
- Lighting Labs Releases Lightning Mainnet Server - Lighting Labs Releases Lightning mainnet Server lnd 0.4-beta. While focused on developers this is the first release that runs on mainnet that uses real bitcoin. https://blog.lightning.engineering/announcement/2018/03/15/lnd-beta.html
- ACINQ Releases Eclair Lightning Server - ACINQ released version 0.2-alpha of the Eclair Lightning Network server. https://medium.com/@ACINQ/eclair-0-2-alpha1-is-out-3caaff242567
- Lightning Network Whitepaper - The original Lightning Network 2015 Whitepaper. “Creating a network of micropayment channels enables bitcoin scalability, micropayments down to the satoshi [1/100m Bitcoin], and near-instant transactions.”
- Bitcoin Whitepaper - The original 2009 white paper by Satoshi Nakamoto that launched Bitcoin. The most important line in the entire white paper is: "The network is robust in its unstructured simplicity. "