Life Timeline

For those born February 4, 1989.

Not your birthday? Find your timeline here.

Before you were born

You're one of the first people who's never lived in a world without Shark Week.

In August 2012, Ashley Fetters traced the history of cable television's longest-running programming event.


Around the time you were born, Ayatollah Khomeini issued a fatwa calling for the death of Salman Rushdie.

In March 2005, Jonathan Rauch wrote that Rushdie's The Satanic Verses began the War on Terror.

Year 34

You were born in February of 1989. This year, The Atlantic celebrates its 160th birthday, making it 5 times as old as you.

The year you were born, Steven Zak wrote about the ethical conflict between animal researchers and animal-rights advocates.


Jason Redmond / AP

The 9/11 Attacks

At 12 years old, you were part of the generation most shaped by 9/11.

The conflicts and displacements touched off around the world by the attacks have been reverberating for the majority of your life. “This ‘war’ [on terrorism] will never be over,” wrote James Fallows, a few years after the towers fell.



The teenage years

This is what Hollywood thought teenagers looked like the year you became one.

Crossroads was released in 2002.

Half a life ago

Your life can be divided into two halves: before and after the iTunes Store.

In January 2013, Rebecca Greenfield wrote that the future of the iTunes Store lies not in music, but in apps.

Coming of age

Around your 18th birthday, the New Horizons space probe made its closest approach to Jupiter.

In July 2015, Alan Taylor published a photo essay on the voyage of New Horizons.


Goran Tomasevic / Reuters

The Arab Spring

When you turned 21, you witnessed the revolutionary fervor that transformed the Arab world in 2010, a movement led by your generation.

When 26-year-old Mohamed Bouazizi set himself on fire, he ignited a tinderbox of protests that continue to roil the Middle East, and kindled the beginnings of democracy in Tunisia.


Danny Moloshok / Reuters


In 2016, Taylor Swift, who was born the same year as you, won a grammy for Album of the Year for her album 1989, making music history as the first woman to win the award twice.

In July 2016, Spencer Kornhaber wrote about the feud between Taylor Swift, Kanye West, and Kim Kardashian.


By the time you turn 42, the collective GDP of the four leading developing countries (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) is likely to match that of today's leading Western nations.

In February 2012, Charles A. Kupchan wrote about the world's emerging economies, and how the world will look by 2050.

History in the making

History is happening all around you, every day.

The Atlantic is here to help you process it, in stories like these: