Life Timeline

For those born August 17, 1978.

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 mass-produced personal computers.

In June 2015, David Sims wrote about how Apple and IBM convinced people to buy home computers in the 1970s and '80s.

Year 44

You were born in August of 1978. This year, The Atlantic celebrates its 160th birthday, making it 4 times as old as you.

The year you were born, Adam Smith™ wrote about the economic questions he was left with after traveling to the Middle East with the United States Secretary of the Treasury.


Around the time you were born, former President Richard Nixon made his first public speech since his resignation.

In August 2014, James Graham wrote a retrospective on Nixon's resignation, 40 years later.


Patrick Hertzog / AFP / Getty Images

After the Fall

At 11 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.



The teenage years

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

Clarissa Explains it All premiered in 1991.

Coming of age

Around your 18th birthday, the U.S. Congress passed a law prohibiting people convicted of domestic violence crimes from possessing firearms.

In June 2016, Russell Riley wrote about the political price of President Bill Clinton's 1994 assault-weapons ban.

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.


Goran Tomasevic / Reuters

After the Spring

When you turned 32, 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.


Mario Anzuoni / Reuters


In 2016, Rachel McAdams, who was born the same year as you, was nominated for an Academy Award for her role as a journalist in Spotlight.

In November 2015, David Sims reviewed Spotlight.


By the time you turn 51, 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: