Life Timeline

For those born May 31, 1971.

Not your birthday? Find your timeline here.

1970
Before you were born

You're one of the first people who's never lived in a world without fiber-optic communication.

In May 2015, Nicole Starosielski wrote about the underwater network of fiber-optic cables that supports the internet.

1971
Year 49

You were born in May of 1971. This year, The Atlantic celebrates its 160th birthday, making it 3 times as old as you.

The year you were born, Sara Davidson wrote about the Rolling Stones' Grand Tour of Europe, shortly after the Beatles broke up.

1971
Beginnings

Around the time you were born, NASA launched Mariner 9, a probe that became the first spacecraft to orbit another planet.

In June 1977, David Chandler wrote about the idea that some form of life exists on Mars.

1984

Everett Collection

The teenage years

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

Revenge of the Nerds was released in 1984.

1989
Coming of age

Around your 18th birthday, 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.

1989

Patrick Hertzog / AFP / Getty Images

After the Fall

At 18 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
Half a life ago

Your life can be divided into two halves: before and after graphical web browsers.

In September 2010, Niraj Chokshi noted how little the browser interface had changed since 1993.

2001

Danny Moloshok / Reuters

Contemporaries

In 2001, Amy Poehler, who was born the same year as you, became a cast member on Saturday Night Live.

In February 2015, Sophie Gilbert wrote about the optimism and open-heartedness of Parks and Recreation's fictional Pawnee, Indiana.

2010

Goran Tomasevic / Reuters

After the Spring

When you turned 39, 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.

2030
Forecasts

By the time you turn 58, 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.

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: