Life Timeline

For those born December 7, 1972.

Not your birthday? Find your timeline here.

1971
Before you were born

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

In July 2016, Ian Bogost wrote about the history and obsolescence of VCRs.

1972
Beginnings

Around the time you were born, a train crashed near Saltillo in Mexico, killing 208 people and injuring more than 700.

In May 2012, Alan Taylor compiled photos from Mexico's drug war, many of which were taken in Saltillo, Mexico.

1972
Year 45

You were born in December of 1972. This year, The Atlantic celebrates its 160th birthday, making it 4 times as old as you.

The year you were born, Sanford J. Ungar wrote about the Pentagon Papers trial, calling it "a decisive test of the federal government's capacity to control the disclosure of information stamped 'secret'".

1985

Everett Collection

The teenage years

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

The Breakfast Club was released in 1985.

1989

Patrick Hertzog / AFP / Getty Images

After the Fall

At 16 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.

1990
Coming of age

Around your 18th birthday, incumbent West German chancellor Helmut Kohl won the first federal election in reunified Germany.

In September 2013, Olga Khazan wrote about the differences between American and German elections.

1994
Half a life ago

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

In March 2016, Ian Bogost wrote about the next stage in Amazon's commercial revolution.

1999

Fred Prouser / Reuters

Contemporaries

In 1999, Cameron Diaz, who was born the same year as you, was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for her role in There's Something About Mary.

In April 2014, Esther Zuckerman wrote about Diaz's film roles.

2010

Goran Tomasevic / Reuters

After the Spring

When you turned 38, 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.

2030
Forecasts

By the time you turn 57, 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.

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: