Life Timeline

For those born August 31, 1996.

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 Toy Story.

In June 2014, Megan Garber wrote about the complicated creative process that shaped the film.

Year 26

You were born in August of 1996. This year, The Atlantic celebrates its 160th birthday, making it 6 times as old as you.

The year you were born, James Fallows wrote about why Americans hate the media.


Around the time you were born, 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.


Jason Redmond / AP

The 9/11 Attacks

At 5 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.

Half a life ago

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

In August 2015, Kalev H. Leetaru considered whether Twitter was living up to its lofty aspirations.



The teenage years

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

Glee premiered in 2009.


Goran Tomasevic / Reuters

The Arab Spring

When you turned 14, 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.


Jordan Strauss / Invision / AP


In 2013, Lorde, who was born the same year as you, released her debut single "Royals."

In October 2015, Spencer Kornhaber wrote about Lorde joining the ranks of pop singers disrupting tropes about victimhood.

Coming of age

Around your 18th birthday, China ruled to deny Hong Kong the right to choose a new leader via open, direct elections.

On October 6, 2014, Lily Kuo interviewed Han Dongfang, a Tiananmen Square protestor, about the protests in Hong Kong.


By the time you turn 24, scientists estimate it will no longer be possible to keep global temperatures from rising at least 1.5 degrees Celsius.

In December 2015, Robinson Meyer wrote about why scientists had accepted this fact.

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: