Life Timeline

For those born October 16, 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 October 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 actor James Dean died.

In November 2013, Leah Sottile wrote about the pop cultural obsession with dying young.

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 13 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 United Nations admitted both East and West Germany as members.

In April 1992, Cullen Murphy wrote about a solution for neatly dealing with deposed leaders of authoritarian states.

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, 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: