Life Timeline

For those born May 13, 1989.

Not your birthday? Find your timeline here.

1988
Before you were born

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

In August 2012, Ashley Fetters traced the history of cable television's longest-running programming event.

1989
Year 30

You were born in May of 1989. This year, The Atlantic celebrates its 160th birthday, making it 5 times as old as you.

The year you were born, Steven Zak wrote about the ethical conflict between animal researchers and animal-rights advocates.

1989
Beginnings

Around the time you were born, massive student-led protests took place in Tiananmen Square against the Chinese government.

In May 2014, Kate Phillips wrote about her memories of the protests in Tiananmen Square.

2001

Jason Redmond / AP

The 9/11 Attacks

At 12 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.

2002

Paramount

The teenage years

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

Crossroads was released in 2002.

2002
Half a life ago

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

In May 2015, Spencer Kornhaber wrote about how the show changed the music industry over time.

2007
Coming of age

Around your 18th birthday, the prime ministers of Russia and Latvia finally agreed on terms to mark borders between the two countries.

In October 2015, Tim Marshall wrote about how geography influences Russian and Soviet expansionism.

2010

Goran Tomasevic / Reuters

The Arab Spring

When you turned 21, 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.

2016

Danny Moloshok / Reuters

Contemporaries

In 2016, Taylor Swift, who was born the same year as you, won a grammy for Album of the Year for her album 1989, making music history as the first woman to win the award twice.

In July 2016, Spencer Kornhaber wrote about the feud between Taylor Swift, Kanye West, and Kim Kardashian.

2025
Forecasts

By the time you turn 35, 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: