Life Timeline

For those born May 19, 1926.

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 motels.

In January 2015, Alana Semuels detailed how extended-stay motels have become homes for the suburban poor.

Year 97

You were born in May of 1926. This year, The Atlantic celebrates its 160th birthday, making it 1.7 times as old as you.

The year you were born, William Z. Ripley wrote about why there should be more regulatory oversight of American industry, less than four years before the Great Depression set in.


Around the time you were born, the United States Congress passed the Air Commerce Act, which regulated and licensed planes and pilots.

In February 2015, Matt Schiavenza wrote about the Federal Aviation Administration's efforts to regulate unmanned aircraft.

Coming of age

Around your 18th birthday, the United Negro College Fund was founded to provide scholarships to African American college students.

In February 2015, Donovan X. Ramsey wrote about how Obama's plan to rate universities would compromise funding for black colleges.


Eddie Mulholland / Reuters


In 1952, Queen Elizabeth II, who was born the same year as you, assumed the responsibilities of the ruling monarch. Her official coronation took place on June 2, 1953, in Westminster Abbey.

In December 1943, Wilson Harris wrote about how Queen Elizabeth II's education compares with that of an American girl of the same age.



Man on the Moon

At 43 years old, you were alive to behold people walking on the moon.

Over the years, the moon landing has come to be lauded as the pinnacle of human achievement, although it was often derided at the time. In 1963, NASA astronauts took to The Atlantic to plead the case for landing on the moon.

Half a life ago

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

In July 2016, Ian Bogost wrote about the history and obsolescence of VCRs.


NASA / JPL-Caltech / Space Science Institute

Across the Universe

When you turned 81, you watched humankind reach the outer solar system.

With NASA's Cassini-Huygens mission in 2005, humans landed a probe in the outer reaches of the solar system for the first time, a moment Ross Andersen called the most glorious mission in the history of planetary science.

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: