In 2009, Google introduced a timeline search feature that let searchers look for web, news, etc content across the web by date range.
Google Blogoscoped has an old picture of it:
Searchers are not happy about it. There is a thread gaining steam over the weekend at Google Web Search Help forum with the complaints.
Some users are forming petitions:
Bring back Google Timeline
In valuable classroom tool.
More petitions wanted.
Kelly from Google is the one who has to respond to them and she said:
Thanks for posting about this. While we the Timeline feature itself has been discontinued, you and other users can still restrict your searches to particular time periods by using the refinement tools on the left hand side of the search page.
Additionally, if you wish to see graphs with historical results for a web search, you can use google.com/trends or google.com/insights/search/ for data since 2004. For more historical data, the "ngram viewer" in Google Books offers similar information (http://books.google.com/ngrams).
I also captured a video of how it worked back then:
Do you miss it?
Forum discussion at Google Web Search Help.