Life Timeline

For those born August 15, 1988.

Not your birthday? Find your timeline here.

1987
Before you were born

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

In February 2012, Hampton Stevens wrote about what The Simpsons had left to say after airing its 500th episode.

1988
Year 31

You were born in August of 1988. This year, The Atlantic celebrates its 160th birthday, making it 5 times as old as you.

The year you were born, Arianna Huffington wrote about the life and legacy of artist Pablo Picasso.

1988
Beginnings

Around the time you were born, the Iran–Iraq War ended in a stalemate after almost eight years and an estimated 1 million people killed.

In November 2002, James Fallows wrote a comprehensive retrospective of Iraq history.

2001

Everett Collection

The teenage years

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

Donnie Darko was released in 2001.

2001

Jason Redmond / AP

The 9/11 Attacks

At 13 years old, you were part of the generation most shaped by 9/11.

The conflicts and displacements touched off around the world by the attacks have been reverberating for the majority of your life. “This ‘war’ [on terrorism] will never be over,” wrote James Fallows, a few years after the towers fell.

2002
Half a life ago

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

In May 2015, Spencer Kornhaber wrote about how the show changed the music industry over time.

2006
Coming of age

Around your 18th birthday, Comair Flight 5191 crashed, killing 49 of the 50 aboard.

In October 2013, Alexander Abad-Santos wrote about the superstitions of air travelers.

2010

Goran Tomasevic / Reuters

The Arab Spring

When you turned 22, you witnessed the revolutionary fervor that transformed the Arab world in 2010, a movement led by your generation.

When 26-year-old Mohamed Bouazizi set himself on fire, he ignited a tinderbox of protests that continue to roil the Middle East, and kindled the beginnings of democracy in Tunisia.

2015

Youssef Boudlal / Reuters

Contemporaries

In 2015, Rihanna, who was born the same year as you, became the first artist to be certified with 100 million singles awards by the RIAA.

In January 2016, Specer Kornhaber wrote about Rihanna's single "Work."

2025
Forecasts

By the time you turn 36, 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: