Life Timeline

For those born May 4, 1998.

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 Harry Potter.

In November 2010, Alyssa Rosenberg wrote about why it was so difficult for readers who grew up reading the series to say goodbye to Harry Potter.

Year 24

You were born in May of 1998. This year, The Atlantic celebrates its 160th birthday, making it 7 times as old as you.

The year you were born, Edward G. Shirley wrote about how internal politics and a corrosive culture compromised the effectiveness of the CIA—and why reform might be impossible.


Around the time you were born, the Akashi Kaikyō Bridge opened to traffic in Japan, becoming the world's largest suspension bridge.

In June 2006, Charles C. Mann wrote about traveling in Japan.


Jason Redmond / AP

The 9/11 Attacks

At 3 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.

Half a life ago

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

In November 2016, Bianca Bosker described how a former Google product philosopher was working to redefine the relationship between consumers and technologies like the iPhone.


Goran Tomasevic / Reuters

The Arab Spring

When you turned 12, 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.


Eric McCandless / Disney

The teenage years

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

A.N.T. Farm premiered in 2012.


Matt Sayles / Invision /AP


In 2012, Amandla Stenberg, who was born the same year as you, played the role of Rue in The Hunger Games.

In October 2015, Jenni Avins wrote about the dos and don'ts of cultural appropriation, referencing a video made by Stenberg.

Coming of age

Around your 18th birthday, Hissene Habre, the former president of Chad, was sentenced to life in prison for committing war crimes.

In May 2016, Marin Koren wrote about Hissene Habre's crimes against humanity and sentencing.


By the time you turn 51, economist Jim O'Neill predicts that drug-resistant infections will kill one person every three seconds.

But it's possible to prevent that. In May 2016, Ed Yong wrote about the recommended steps to avert a post-antibiotic apocalypse.

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: