Use your mouse to drag the top part of the timeline to surf by decade, or the bottom part of the timeline to surf by millenium.
To use the 'filter' box under the timeline, just type a word in the box, and the timeline will only show items containing that word. ex: try typing "imamat" in the filter box
To use the 'Highlight' boxes under the timeline, just type a word in the box above a color, and all the news events containing that word will get highlighted with that color. Ex: try typing "birth" above the red colour.