Life Timeline

For those born December 18, 1984.

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 the Disney Channel.

In July 2015, James Parker wrote about the insidious messages tweens pick up from the Disney Channel and Nickelodeon.

Year 37

You were born in December of 1984. This year, The Atlantic celebrates its 160th birthday, making it 4 times as old as you.

The year you were born, Benjamin Spock wrote about why schools should emphasize active learning and empathy for students.


Around the time you were born, Ronald Reagan was reelected president of the United States.

In January 1987, William Schneider wrote about how the transformation of American politics in the 1960s and '70s brought Reagan to power, and how they would shape the approaching race to replace him.


Everett Collection

The teenage years

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

I Know What You Did Last Summer was released in 1997.

Half a life ago

Your life can be divided into two halves: before and after the International Space Station.

In our January/February 2015 issue, Charles Fishman wrote about the oddity of daily life on the station and the value of its continued operation.


Jason Redmond / AP

The 9/11 Attacks

At 16 years old, you were part of the generation most shaped by 9/11.

The conflicts and displacements touched off around the world by the attacks have been reverberating for the majority of your life. “This ‘war’ [on terrorism] will never be over,” wrote James Fallows, a few years after the towers fell.

Coming of age

Around your 18th birthday, a U.S. Predator drone was shot down by an Iraqi plane in the first-ever military combat between conventional aircraft and drones.

In September 2013, Mark Bowden wrote about the complications of American drone warfare.


Joel Ryan / AP


In 2008, Katy Perry, who was born the same year as you, released the hit song "I Kissed a Girl."

In December 2012, Noah Berlatsky wrote about Katy Perry's aversion to feminism.


Goran Tomasevic / Reuters

The Arab Spring

When you turned 26, you witnessed the revolutionary fervor that transformed the Arab world in 2010, a movement led by your generation.

When 26-year-old Mohamed Bouazizi set himself on fire, he ignited a tinderbox of protests that continue to roil the Middle East, and kindled the beginnings of democracy in Tunisia.


By the time you turn 36, scientists estimate it will no longer be possible to keep global temperatures from rising at least 1.5 degrees Celsius.

In December 2015, Robinson Meyer wrote about why scientists had accepted this fact.

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: