Life Timeline

For those born May 1, 1986.

Not your birthday? Find your timeline here.

1985
Before you were born

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

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

1986
Beginnings

Around the time you were born, an incumbent British prime minister visited Israel for the first time.

In April 1947, Eliahu Ben-Horin wrote about the ideal of a Jewish state in Palestine, and why some—including the British government—opposed its creation.

1986
Year 33

You were born in May of 1986. This year, The Atlantic celebrates its 160th birthday, making it 5 times as old as you.

The year you were born, George Guilder argued that gender disparity in the workplace might have less to do with discrimination than with women making the choice to stay at home.

1999

Chris Haston / NBC /NBCU Photo Bank via Getty

The teenage years

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

Freaks and Geeks premiered in 1999.

2001
Half a life ago

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

In August 2015, Joe Pinsker wrote about the site's paid editors.

2001

Jason Redmond / AP

The 9/11 Attacks

At 15 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.

2004
Coming of age

Around your 18th birthday, Google launched Gmail.

In November 2011, James Fallows wrote about email hacks and how Google fought them.

2010

Eduardo Munoz / Reuters

Contemporaries

In 2010, Lady Gaga, who was born the same year as you, won her first Grammy Award for her album The Fame.

In June 2010, James Parker wrote about how Lady Gaga is remaking the genre of pop.

2010

Goran Tomasevic / Reuters

The Arab Spring

When you turned 24, 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.

2035
Forecasts

By the time you turn 48, NASA says it will send humans to explore Mars.

In August 2015, Alakananda Mookerjee wrote about what new Mars colonists would be able to eat—and how they'd grow it.

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: