Life Timeline

For those born December 11, 1979.

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 "test-tube babies."

In October 2010, Cristine Russell wrote about the practice of in vitro fertilization (IVF) becoming more common.

Year 42

You were born in December 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.


Around the time you were born, the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan, which began the Soviet-Afghan War.

In August 2014, Alan Taylor published a photo essay on the Soviet Union's invasion of Afghanistan.


Patrick Hertzog / AFP / Getty Images

After the Fall

At 9 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.


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.

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.

Coming of age

Around your 18th birthday, the United Nations adopted the Kyoto Protocol, an international treaty to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

In April 2008, Clive Crook took a critical lens to the Kyoto Protocol and what it means for the future of environmental protocols.


Danny Moloshok / Reuters


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.


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.


By the time you turn 52, the collective GDP of the four leading developing countries (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) is likely to match that of today's leading Western nations.

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

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: