Life Timeline

For those born May 30, 1974.

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 cell phones.

In April 2013, Megan Garber wrote about the swift and spiteful final push to invent the cell phone.


Around the time you were born, a Universal Product Code was scanned for the first time.

In June 2009, Edward Tenner wrote about the invention and anniversary of the bar code.

Year 48

You were born in May of 1974. This year, The Atlantic celebrates its 160th birthday, making it 3 times as old as you.

The year you were born, Fred Harris wrote about Harlan County, Kentucky, home of some of America's richest natural resources—and some of its poorest people.



The teenage years

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

Some Kind of Wonderful was released in 1987.


Patrick Hertzog / AFP / Getty Images

After the Fall

At 15 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.

Coming of age

Around your 18th birthday, the Twenty-seventh Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified, preventing members of Congress from raising their salaries before an intervening election.

In July 2011, Chris Good wrote about a proposed amendment that would balance the budget.

Half a life ago

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

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


Eduardo Munoz / Reuters


In 2006, Amy Adams, who was born the same year as you, was nominated for her first Academy Award for the movie Junebug.

In June 2013, Esther Zuckerman wrote about the need for a female-led superhero film.


Goran Tomasevic / Reuters

After the Spring

When you turned 36, 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.


By the time you turn 55, humanity's water requirements will exceed its supplies by 40 percent.

In May 2012, Stewart M. Patrick wrote about the Intelligence Community's report on global water scarcity, and the plan to combat it.

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: