Life Timeline

For those born October 12, 1939.

Not your birthday? Find your timeline here.

1938
Before you were born

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

In March 2016, Carmen Petaccio wrote about the changes in recent history to comic-book heroes, and how they correlate with times of despair in America.

1939
Year 80

You were born in October of 1939. This year, The Atlantic celebrates its 160th birthday, making it 2 times as old as you.

The year you were born, Dr. X wrote about his experiences as a prisoner in a Nazi concentration camp.

1939
Beginnings

Around the time you were born, Adolf Hitler carried out the annexation of western Poland.

In February 1937, Henry C. Wolfe wrote about Hitler's aggressive expansion and how it would affect the nations of Eastern Europe.

1957
Coming of age

Around your 18th birthday, the Soviet Union launched Sputnik I, the first satellite to orbit the Earth.

On October 4, 2010, Alexis Madrigal wrote about the launch of Sputnik and how it sparked the space race.

1969

NASA

Man on the Moon

At 29 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.

1977
Half a life ago

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

1981

Kieran Doherty / Reuters

Contemporaries

In 1981, Ian McKellen, who was born the same year as you, won a Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play for his role in Amadeus.

In December 2013, David W. Brown wrote about the Broadway plays No Man's Land and Waiting for Godot. McKellen starred in both opposite his good friend Patrick Stewart.

2007

NASA / JPL-Caltech / Space Science Institute

Across the Universe

When you turned 67, 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.

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: