Unlike the comic book version of the Marvel Universe with its sliding timeline in order to keep characters perpetually young, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has to employ real live actors and has no reason not to tie things to real dates since the actors are just going to get old anyway. The movies don't pin themselves down so much on when the actual films take place (or their references are contradictory), but we do know quite a bit about the events before them:
Tony Stark was born on May 29, 1970.
Anyway, check out these timelines here and here.
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