Life Timeline

For those born July 4, 1955.

Not your birthday? Find your timeline here.

1954
Before you were born

You're one of the first people who's never lived in a world without The Lord of the Rings.

In May 2015, Julie Beck wrote about how scientists have honored and analyzed J. R. R. Tolkien's fantasy epic.

1955
Year 63

You were born in July of 1955. This year, The Atlantic celebrates its 160th birthday, making it 3 times as old as you.

The year you were born, Joseph S. Clark, Jr. wrote about the scarcity of good men in politics.

1955
Beginnings

Around the time you were born, the first Sudanese Civil War began.

In April 1986, Robert D. Kaplan wrote about the internal and external strife that threatened Sudan's government during the country's second civil war.

1968

Everett Collection

The teenage years

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

Wild in the Streets was released in 1968.

1969

NASA

Man on the Moon

At 14 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.

1973
Coming of age

Around your 18th birthday, the Drug Enforcement Administration was founded under President Richard Nixon.

In June 2011, Conor Friedersdorf wrote about the outsize DEA budget in contrast to the agency's inability to stop illicit drug use and trade.

1985
Half a life ago

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

In December 2006, James Fallows wrote about Microsoft's efforts to improve the influential operating system.

1986

Dion Ogust

Contemporaries

In 1986, Ann M. Martin, who was born the same year as you, released the first book in The Baby-Sitters Club series.

In August 2012, Jen Doll wrote about the impact of the Baby-Sitters Club novel series.

2007

NASA / JPL-Caltech / Space Science Institute

Across the Universe

When you turned 51, 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.

2025
Forecasts

By the time you turn 69, 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.

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: