Life Timeline

For those born May 31, 1979.

Not your birthday? Find your timeline here.

1978
Before you were born

You're one of the first people who's never lived in a world without "test-tube babies."

In October 2010, Cristine Russell wrote about the practice of in vitro fertilization (IVF) becoming more common.

1979
Year 41

You were born in May of 1979. This year, The Atlantic celebrates its 160th birthday, making it 4 times as old as you.

The year you were born, James Fallows, who worked as a speech writer for President Jimmy Carter, wrote about why the latter's presidency had been so constrained.

1979
Beginnings

Around the time you were born, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, one of the most secretive and powerful courts in Washington, opened.

In April 2006, James Bamford wrote about NSA surveillance and the jurisdiction of the FISA court.

1989

Patrick Hertzog / AFP / Getty Images

After the Fall

At 10 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.

1992

Everett Collection

The teenage years

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

Buffy the Vampire Slayer was released in 1992.

1997
Coming of age

Around your 18th birthday, Peruvian commandos stormed the home of the Japanese ambassador to Peru, freeing 71 hostages and killing the rebels holding them.

In Demember 1997, Robert D. Kaplan wrote about democracy at the end of the Cold War.

1997
Half a life ago

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

In November 2010, Alyssa Rosenberg wrote about why it was so difficult for readers who grew up reading the series to say goodbye to Harry Potter.

2001

Phil McCarten / Reuters

Contemporaries

In 2001, Kate Hudson, who was born the same year as you, was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in Almost Famous.

In June 2013, Nick Schager wrote about how family ties make the film industry more inclusive.

2010

Goran Tomasevic / Reuters

After the Spring

When you turned 31, 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 50, 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: