Philip Olson has posted a brief history of one of the more infamous features of PHP on its fifth birthday - register_globals:
It's been a long road and exactly five years (35 releases) since the much discussed and highly controversial PHP directive register_globals has been disabled by default in PHP. After sifting through the mailing list archives, the following set of information has been compiled. Feel free to make additions, corrections, and report register_globals memories!
His list includes some recent "tidbits" about the directive (including the fact that there's still lots of code in the PHP CVS repository that requires register_globals to be on). Following that, there's his brief timeline of the directive's progression - from its infancy as gpc_globals all the way up to more recent events - like its removal from the PHP 6 HEAD CVS versions. With the release of this next major version of PHP, "the beast" can finally be laid to rest.