If you're a writer, it helps to get into your main character's head by knowing what is going on in the world around him. With a fantasy, you get to make things up, but, if you're placing your character in the recent past, have I got a tool for you! It's the dMarie Time Capsule.
Say your character is a young adult in 1979. The season is the spring. So, pick a date like 4/30/79. Plug it into the date search box and click "quick page." You'll get results such as the top 10 songs of 1979, the fact that Jimmy Carter was president, and a list of popular TV programs that includes Charlie's Angels and Three's Company. You might want to know that people in 1979 were reading Sophie's Choice by William Styron.
If you want even more information to start, plug in the date and click "Advanced Page." You'll be taken to a month's worth of news headlines for May 1979. For example, on Friday, May 25, an "American Airlines DC-10 crashes in Chicago killing 275." Maybe your character knows someone who perished!
You can check what was going on at the time of your character's birth in 1962 or to move forward to your character's 30th birthday in 1992. Use the dMarie Time Capsule frequently to fill in your "historical" setting. It's an easy and fun way to enhance your character, and, your plot!