Life Timeline

For those born February 20, 1942.

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 Captain America.

In April 2014, Charles Moss wrote about how Captain America became a McCarthy-esque warrior against Communism in the 1950s.


Around the time you were born, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, which gave authorization to imprison Japanese American citizens.

On August 1, 2013, Conor Friedersdorf argued that we must be careful to safeguard civil liberties during war.

Year 80

You were born in February of 1942. This year, The Atlantic celebrates its 160th birthday, making it 2 times as old as you.

The year you were born, Bernard Iddings Bell wrote about how the Christian church must adapt to maintain a foothold in mainstream culture.

Coming of age

Around your 18th birthday, France detonated its first atomic bomb.

In May 2011, Alan Taylor produced a photo essay about the age of nuclear tests.



Man on the Moon

At 27 years old, you were alive to behold people walking on the moon.

Over the years, the moon landing has come to be lauded as the pinnacle of human achievement, although it was often derided at the time. In 1963, NASA astronauts took to The Atlantic to plead the case for landing on the moon.


Andreas Meier / Reuters


In 1975, Muhammad Ali, who was born the same year as you, beat Joe Frazier and reclaimed the world heavyweight championship in the "Thrilla in Manila" fight—the last in a trilogy of matches between the legend and his biggest rival.

In June 2016, Vann Newkirk II wrote that to understand Ali's greatness as a boxer, one has to understand his identity as a black man and a public intellectual in the wake of his death.

Half a life ago

Your life can be divided into two halves: before and after hip-hop records.

In March 2015, Irvin Weathersby Jr. wrote about what hip-hop can teach Americans.


NASA / JPL-Caltech / Space Science Institute

Across the Universe

When you turned 65, you watched humankind reach the outer solar system.

With NASA's Cassini-Huygens mission in 2005, humans landed a probe in the outer reaches of the solar system for the first time, a moment Ross Andersen called the most glorious mission in the history of planetary science.

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: