The "Recent" features at welcome page can be toggled on and off by changing the "historyShow" property at the locations below. Setting the property historyShow to false disables history features and resolves the issue. The package attached (hide_history-1.zip) overrides and disables the history.
Currently, there is no upper limit to the amount of history to track. You can reduce the amount of history log by implementing a logger writer that limits the size and the number of log files kept for history.log. More details at https://sling.apache.org/documentation/development/logging.html. A sample package(rotate-history-1.zip) to retain three latest log files with each 1 KB is attached.
The "Recent" feature uses the HistoryService  to retrieve its details. The current implementation reads from the file starting with history in logs folder. Then, it filters the contents of this log depending on the user who is viewing the Welcome page. For more information, see http://dev.day.com/docs/en/cq/current/javadoc/com/adobe/cq/history/api/HistoryService.html.