Life Timeline

For those born April 20, 1984.

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 the Disney Channel.

In July 2015, James Parker wrote about the insidious messages tweens pick up from the Disney Channel and Nickelodeon.

Year 38

You were born in April of 1984. This year, The Atlantic celebrates its 160th birthday, making it 4 times as old as you.

The year you were born, Benjamin Spock wrote about why schools should emphasize active learning and empathy for students.


Around the time you were born, NASA launched its 11th Space Shuttle mission, and the 5th undertaken by Challenger.

In January 2011, Nicholas Jackson put together a brief history of the Space Shuttle Challenger 25 years after its disastrous explosion in 1986.


Everett Collection

The teenage years

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

I Know What You Did Last Summer was released in 1997.

Half a life ago

Your life can be divided into two halves: before and after the International Space Station.

In our January/February 2015 issue, Charles Fishman wrote about the oddity of daily life on the station and the value of its continued operation.


Jason Redmond / AP

The 9/11 Attacks

At 17 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.

Coming of age

Around your 18th birthday, Halle Berry became the first black woman to win an Academy Award for Best Actress.

In September 2013, Akash Nikolas wrote about the Academy's continual failure to recognize varied performances by black actresses.


Joel Ryan / AP


In 2008, Katy Perry, who was born the same year as you, released the hit song "I Kissed a Girl."

In December 2012, Noah Berlatsky wrote about Katy Perry's aversion to feminism.


Goran Tomasevic / Reuters

The Arab Spring

When you turned 26, 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.


By the time you turn 65, China is predicted to be the world's largest economy.

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: