Life Timeline

For those born April 19, 1955.

Not your birthday? Find your timeline here.

1954
Before you were born

You're one of the first people who's never lived in a world without The Lord of the Rings.

In May 2015, Julie Beck wrote about how scientists have honored and analyzed J. R. R. Tolkien's fantasy epic.

1955
Beginnings

Around the time you were born, Dr. Jonas Salk's polio vaccine was pronounced effective.

In February 1957, David D. Rutstein wrote about the effectiveness of the polio vaccine.

1955
Year 64

You were born in April of 1955. This year, The Atlantic celebrates its 160th birthday, making it 3 times as old as you.

The year you were born, Joseph S. Clark, Jr. wrote about the scarcity of good men in politics.

1968

Everett Collection

The teenage years

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

Wild in the Streets was released in 1968.

1969

NASA

Man on the Moon

At 14 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.

1973
Coming of age

Around your 18th birthday, the first handheld mobile call was made by Martin Cooper of Motorola.

In April 2013, Zachary M. Seward looked back at the first time a mobile phone call was placed.

1985
Half a life ago

Your life can be divided into two halves: before and after Microsoft Windows.

In December 2006, James Fallows wrote about Microsoft's efforts to improve the influential operating system.

1988

Jean-Paul Pelissier / Reuters

Contemporaries

In 1988, Bruce Willis, who was born the same year as you, starred in the popular film Die Hard.

In October 2015, David Sims wrote about a planned Hollywood reboot of the Die Hard franchise.

2007

NASA / JPL-Caltech / Space Science Institute

Across the Universe

When you turned 52, 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.

2025
Forecasts

By the time you turn 69, experts at the Pew Research Center warn that there will be no "surveillance-free spaces."

In December 2014, Adrienne LaFrance wrote about how the way we see privacy will change over the next decade.

Today
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: