Life Timeline

For those born December 19, 1978.

Not your birthday? Find your timeline here.

1977
Before you were born

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

1978
Year 41

You were born in December of 1978. This year, The Atlantic celebrates its 160th birthday, making it 4 times as old as you.

The year you were born, Adam Smith™ wrote about the economic questions he was left with after traveling to the Middle East with the United States Secretary of the Treasury.

1978
Beginnings

Around the time you were born, Spain became a democracy after almost 40 years of dictatorship.

In June 2014, Uri Friedman wrote about the Spanish monarchy and its help transitioning Spain to a constitutional democracy.

1989

Patrick Hertzog / AFP / Getty Images

After the Fall

At 10 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.

1991

Nickelodeon

The teenage years

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

Clarissa Explains it All premiered in 1991.

1996

Lucy Nicholson

Contemporaries

In 1996, Kobe Bryant, who was born the same year as you, made his debut in professional basketball with the Los Angeles Lakers.

In April 2016, Matt Vasilogambros wrote about Kobe Bryant's last game for the NBA.

1996
Coming of age

Around your 18th birthday, Kofi Annan was elected UN secretary-general.

In April 2000, Charles Trueheart wrote about the power of the International Criminal Tribunal.

1997
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.

2010

Goran Tomasevic / Reuters

After the Spring

When you turned 32, 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.

2035
Forecasts

By the time you turn 56, 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.

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: