Time magazine celebrated a big milestone recently—90 years of publication. And as publications are often wont to do, the news weekly scoured its extensive collection of covers that span nearly a century and selected one from each year.
Collectively, those 90 covers—ranging from 1923 to 2012—are being billed by Time editors as “All You Need to Know About Modern History in 90 Cover Stories.”
The list is filled with political figures, natural disasters, technological advancements and social change. Think World War II, Hurricane Katrina and the moon landing to stock market crashes, AIDS, abortion and everything in between.
While each cover bears importance, which ones have had the most impact on day-to-day living? Using only the 90 covers that Time editors selected, we’ve come up with these four touchstone moments.
“Mouse and Man,” Dec. 27, 1937: Walt Disney, the king of animation, was featured on the cover at the time of the release of his most ambitious project, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. It would be the beginning of the golden age of animation—and would lead to seemingly endless hours over the years of parents watching cartoons (Disney or otherwise) alongside their children.
“The Cybernated Nation,” April 2, 1965: Some 50 years ago, computers were most often used in the fields of medicine and research. Today, there’s not many tasks we don’t turn to the old laptop to do that it can’t do from nearly anywhere. This cover celebrated the “rise of computers in society.” Now many of us would say we nearly can’t function without them.
“If You Want to Humble an Empire,” Sept. 14, 2001: The “where-were-you-when” moment of a new generation came during the 9/11 terrorist attacks, first on New York City’s iconic Twin Towers. Of all its impacts—strengthened airport security, a renewed sense of patriotism, a greater spirit of generosity—there’s no doubt it changed the way we, as Americans, viewed the world.
“Invention of the Year: The iPhone,” Nov. 12, 2007: Close on the heels of the life-changing nature of the computer is the advent of the iPhone—and maybe smartphone technology in general. But it’s the little invention from Steve Jobs’ company that makes our lives ever more mobile, not to mention its design and functionality is widely lauded for being in a class by itself.