Life Timeline

For those born May 17, 1996.

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 Toy Story.

In June 2014, Megan Garber wrote about the complicated creative process that shaped the film.

Year 26

You were born in May of 1996. This year, The Atlantic celebrates its 160th birthday, making it 6 times as old as you.

The year you were born, James Fallows wrote about why Americans hate the media.


Around the time you were born, the United Nations made an oil-for-food aid agreement with Iraq.

In September 2016, Uri Friedman considered the relevance of the United Nations in the contemporary world.


Jason Redmond / AP

The 9/11 Attacks

At 5 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 Twitter.

In August 2015, Kalev H. Leetaru considered whether Twitter was living up to its lofty aspirations.



The teenage years

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

Glee premiered in 2009.


Goran Tomasevic / Reuters

The Arab Spring

When you turned 14, 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.


Andrew Kelly / Reuters


In 2013, Austin Mahone, who was born the same year as you, released his song "What About Love," which earned him an Artists to Watch award at that year's MTV Video Music Awards.

In June 2014, Price Peterson wrote about Mahone's frustration with being compared to Justin Bieber.

Coming of age

Around your 18th birthday, Russia and China vetoed a UN Security Council resolution allowing international trials for perpetrators of crimes against humanity in Syria.

In September 2013, Jim Arkedis wrote about the struggle within the UN Security Council over Syria.


By the time you turn 28, 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.

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: