Life Timeline

For those born December 12, 1974.

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 cell phones.

In April 2013, Megan Garber wrote about the swift and spiteful final push to invent the cell phone.

Year 48

You were born in December of 1974. This year, The Atlantic celebrates its 160th birthday, making it 3 times as old as you.

The year you were born, Fred Harris wrote about Harlan County, Kentucky, home of some of America's richest natural resources—and some of its poorest people.


Around the time you were born, Gerald Ford and the Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev agreed on a framework for the SALT II treaty to reduce nuclear weapons.

In January 2016, Jacob Weisberg wrote about how Reagan and Gorbachev failed to completely eliminate the American and Soviet nuclear arsenals.



The teenage years

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

Some Kind of Wonderful was released in 1987.


Patrick Hertzog / AFP / Getty Images

After the Fall

At 14 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.

Coming of age

Around your 18th birthday, the first-ever text message was sent.

In August 2011, Jamie Holmes wrote about how texting is the driving force behind technology-enabled changes in commerce, crime, political participation, and governing in the developing world.

Half a life ago

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

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


Eduardo Munoz / Reuters


In 2006, Amy Adams, who was born the same year as you, was nominated for her first Academy Award for the movie Junebug.

In June 2013, Esther Zuckerman wrote about the need for a female-led superhero film.


Goran Tomasevic / Reuters

After the Spring

When you turned 36, 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 60, NASA says it will send humans to explore Mars.

In August 2015, Alakananda Mookerjee wrote about what new Mars colonists would be able to eat—and how they'd grow it.

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: