Life Timeline

For those born August 18, 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 40

You were born in August 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, Saddam Hussein became the president of Iraq, continuing decades of conflict.

In May 2002, Mark Bowden wrote about the daily life and thoughts of Saddam Hussein.

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
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.

1997
Coming of age

Around your 18th birthday, China resumed sovereignty over Hong Kong, ending 156 years of British colonial rule.

In April 2013, Matt Schiavenza wrote about how Thatcher attempted to maintain British rule of Hong Kong.

2002

Danny Moloshok / Reuters

Contemporaries

In 2002, Adam Levine, who was born the same year as you, released his first album, Songs About Jane, with his band Maroon 5, which earned them a Grammy Award for Best New Artist.

In November 2013, Alexander Abad-Santos wrote about why Levine's being named Sexiest Man Alive is truly a success story.

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.

2025
Forecasts

By the time you turn 45, the World Bank predicts that the U.S. dollar will lose its global dominance.

In February 2012, Charles A. Kupchan wrote about the world's emerging economies, and how the world will look by 2050.

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: