Life Timeline

For those born May 17, 1980.

Not your birthday? Find your timeline here.

1979
Before you were born

You're one of the first people who's never lived in a world without hip-hop records.

In March 2015, Irvin Weathersby Jr. wrote about what hip-hop can teach Americans.

1980
Beginnings

Around the time you were born, Yugoslav President Josip Broz Tito died as a result of gangrene.

In April 2000, David Rieff wrote about the fraught history and sad—but safe—modern condition of the formerly Yugoslavian city of Sarajevo.

1980
Year 39

You were born in May of 1980. This year, The Atlantic celebrates its 160th birthday, making it 4 times as old as you.

The year you were born, Mary Jo Salter wrote about how the potential for women to be drafted into the military made society think more deeply about both war and feminism.

1989

Patrick Hertzog / AFP / Getty Images

After the Fall

At 9 years old, you saw the collapse of the Berlin Wall.

“It was thought that all borders between men had similarly disintegrated, and we were all destined to be free and empowered individuals in a global meeting place,” wrote Robert Kaplan 20 years later.

1993

Everett Collection

The teenage years

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

Dazed and Confused was released in 1993.

1998
Coming of age

Around your 18th birthday, 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.

1998
Half a life ago

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

In the July/August 2008 issue, Nicholas Carr wondered whether Google was making people stupid.

2004

Kim Kyung-Hoon / Reuters

Contemporaries

In 2004, Ryan Gosling, who was born the same year as you, starred in the romantic hit The Notebook.

In December 2016, David Sims reviewed the film La La Land, starring Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone.

2010

Goran Tomasevic / Reuters

After the Spring

When you turned 30, you saw the rise of the Arab Spring.

People across the world rediscovered the power and peril of revolutions, as Laura Kasinof found in Yemen.

2021
Forecasts

By the time you turn 40, scientists estimate it will no longer be possible to keep global temperatures from rising at least 1.5 degrees Celsius.

In December 2015, Robinson Meyer wrote about why scientists had accepted this fact.

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: