Major world events YOU have lived

This isn’t meant to be morbid, just is about things you will never forget from your life experience.

In my life, so far, I have:

[li]watched President Reagan getting shot.[/li][li]watched the Challenger explosion. I was in high school in English class when they announced it and they brought a tv in the room.[/li][li]watched the Berlin wall go down Again I was in high school, I believe I was in Algebra class when that happened on tv.[/li][li]Desert Storm… still in high school. I thought it was going to become WWIII. I was scared.[/li][li]9-11-01 :([/li][/ul]

When the Challenger blew up, I was playing Pitfall on Atari 2600 and I made it a screen I had never made it to before, a screen with a purple gold bar on it.

I ran into the bedroom to show my mom my progress at Pitfall, but she and my older brother shushed me and I cried and cried.

Stupid Challenger blowing up while I was playing Pitfall…gumble grumble…

I remember watching the Challenger go up in smoke while I was in school. When the Gulf War started, I was coming out of swim practice at the YMCA, and my friend’s dad told me we were at war. I walked into work on 9-11 and my boss said “Have you heard any of this?” I hadn’t…it was about 25 minutes after the first plane hit and I had been listening to CDs in the car all morning.

  1. Challenger. I came home from school for lunch (I lived close to my middle school). My mother came home from work, and told me that Cape Canaveral had exploded. (She was misguided.) So we turned on the TV and there it was. When I went back to school, I told the other kids what had happened, and no one believed me. I just said, “Watch the news when you get home.”

  2. Chernobyl. Same year as Challenger, and actually was featured more prominently in the Encyclopaedia Brittanica Book of the Year, than Challenger was. A horrible tragedy. Having worked in the field of atomic energy, I’ve seen the literature. “How Chernobyl can’t happen here”, and so on. I’ve also seen the accident reports. Scary.

  3. Hi, Opal!

  4. Collapse of the Berlin Wall. I was a bit confused as to what it would mean, but I understand now.

  5. Desert Storm. Nasty. Being driven home from school by my father, with the radio on, saying that they were donning gas masks in Jerusalem. My dad just said, “Jesus Christ. Let’s get some egg rolls.” That’s when I realized the situation was so serious. I eventually got informed, and into many debates over the nature of this “war.” My views were not popular.

  6. Y2K was pretty big. We were all convinced everything would screech to a halt. So I’m at this Y2K New Year’s party, and midnight strikes. Much affection goes around the room. Then everyone tried to call everyone else on their cell phones. They clogged up the entire system. My reaction? “Oh my God, the Year 2000 bug has hit!” But I was stoned.

  7. September 11, 2001. I got off the metro and onto the bus just as the first plane struck. I had no idea. I got into work about 15 minutes later. I work in video, so we have live TV feeds to test our equipment. Anyway, everyone was staring at the live feed monitors, watching the whole thing take place. No work was done that day. We were all desperately trying to get on to or, etc., with no luck. Bandwidth exceeded. I had to get my information from a Big Brother 2 message board, as well as PlanetSucks. I go out for a smoke and see the flags of Canada and Quebec at half-mast, outside the building across the street. That rammed it home.

In a strange way, having experienced these kind of world-changing events makes me feel more alive. Not everything I experience can be all lovely and happy. I need to see - and feel- the horrors as well.

  • s.e.

All these are TV events. What about actually being present at REAL events? Aren’t you getting TV mixed up with reality.

Well, the OP seemed to want TV events, so these are mine…

Challenger… I was in kindergarten, and yes, we were watching, so my parents tell me. The only thing I remember from that year is my sister being born.

Gulf War… but my memories of that are interchangeable with the memories of the Clarence Thomas hearings, I think because we used to watch both around the kitchen table at dinner.

Berlin Wall… I was in love with my babysitter, Danny, and I asked him to explain the meaning behind the Berlin Wall to me, even though I was nine, and knew what it all mean already. I wonder whatever happened to him.

Princess Diana’s death… was, like many others, watching SNL, and wondering if it was just another skit. I also got up at like 3 AM to watch the funeral.

9/11… had been in NYC the night before, watched most of it from my dorm room, near hysteria.

Lindberg flight to Paris - 1927 I was going on five years. I remember people talking about it.

Jack Dempsey - Jack Sharkey boxing - 1927 We listened to it with a neighbor on a borrowed radio. I remember that we could barely hear because of static.

Roosevelt elected president - 1932

** Burning of cruise liner Morro Castle off Asbury Park, NJ - 1934**

Crash of the airship Macon off Monterey, CA -1935 This is representative of the crash of all of them. Los Angeles, Shenendoah, etc. I remember them all.

The Great Economic Depression - 1930 - 1941

** Crash of airship Hindenburg at Lakehurst, NJ - 1937**

Brooklyn-Ireland flight of Douglas “Wrong Way” Corrigan - 1938 Corrigan filed a flight plan for Los Angeles and claimed to have misread his compass. The flight was in a single engine Curtis Robin high-wing monoplane. This site shows the plane and discusses Corrigan’s “mistake.”

The rise of Hitler, appeasment, Munich agreement, Austrian Anschuss - 1937-1939

Beginning of WWII - 1 Sept. 1939

Germany attacked Soviet Union - 1941

Pearl Harbor attack, loss of Philippines and almost everything else in the western Pacific - 1941-1942

The rest of WWII, North Africa, Italy, France, Soviet success against Germany, and on and on.

The atom bomb - 1945 I was visiting some friends in the Belgian town of Florennes and when I returned to the base was told about this “new bomb that wiped out a city.” We were slated to head for the Pacific so that was good news to us indeed.

Korean war started - 1950
** French lost Dien Bin Phu in Vietnam. That started it for us - 1954**

Launch of Sputnik by the Soviets in 1957 Big shock. Eisenhower had said, not long before - space? who needs it?

Most everyone here can remember most of the rest of the stuff I would put down, so that will do for now.

Oh, so watching the Twin Towers fall, LIVE, via television, was just a Hollywood special effect and not real? Give me a fucking break. I was talking about major real world events, not fiction. Most people get their news from TV, radio, newspapers, the internet, and person-to-person.

Of course, YOU are the exception and just happen to be live, on the physical scene, of every major world event. :rolleyes:

Tv, radio, person to person, morse code, two dixie cups and a string… the medium is irrelevant. The only relevance of the medium is as it pertains to your personal recollection of the event.

What my OP is asking is:

[li]What events stood out most to you?[/li][li]How do you recall that event: e.g. Where were you? How old were you? How did you hear about it or witness it? What were you doing when it happened? How did it affect you?[/li][/ul]

I don’t remember any of the earlier stuff that Dave remembers. I kicked in somewhere, during WWII.

I remember Joe DiMaggio, Ted Williams, and Stan Musial as players. I remember Mickey Mantle and Willy Mays as rookies. I remember Otto Gramham as a quarterback and Joe Namath signing for $1,000,000 and wearing panty-hose and a fur coat.

I remember General McArthur getting fired and saying “Old soldiers never die, they just fade away.”

I remember Gary Powers getting shot down and everyone being afraid that WWIII was about to start. I remember Sputnik, and Sam Shepard. I remember looking up at the moon when Lovell, Boreman, and Anders first circled it and then going inside to look at the surface of the moon on TV. I remember
Armstrong stepping onto the moon. I remember as I was checking out of the Marine Corps, men that I knew were checking out because they had orders to go to Vietnam. I remember Woodstock, Hippies and LSD. I remember the protests, Ali refusing to serve, Hanoi Jane and being tired of the whole thing, especially the war.

I remember the Berlin Blockade, Berlin Airlift and the Berlin Wall going up. I remember standing inspection on the day Kennedy called Kruschev’s bluff in the missile crisis. I remember The Bay of Pigs and later I remember Watergate

I remember JFK, Martin Luther King and Bobby all being shot and wondering if it would ever stop.

I was in Cleveland, OH right after there were racial riots. I almost got caught with my wife in a racial riot in Cincinnati. I was also passing thru Selma, AL the day that they started the march to Montgomery, AL The most important thing I witnessed was Washington DC the day of John Kennedy’s funeral. I saw his casket and the riderless horse, but the thing that moved me the most was seeing the flag at halfmast over the White House.

I remember a few other things along the way and things didn’t necessarily happen in the above order.

I remember the fall of the Berlin Wall, but I think I was only about 6 at the time. We actually have a piece of it…my mom’s boss gave it to her.

I also remember Desert Storm, but, again, I was young. One of the girls in my Girl Scout troop had a dad who was over there; that’s about all I remember. Oh, and part of what I remember took place on April 1st…don’t know why I remember that.

I also remember 9/11…I know exactly where I was when the planes hit. I was in my dorm room, and I’d woken up early. Instead of getting up and going over to the cafeteria to get food, I just stayed in my bed, thinking (I kid you not) about how wonderful it was right then to be alive. I was in my bed; I had my boyfriend; I had another guy pursuing me; all my homework was done; I was warm; I was safe. . .life was good.

Then, of course, I got up, and went to the cafeteria, and the lunch ladies were talking about OKC (which I also remember. . .in fact, I was out sick from school for the Norridge quake, OKC, and Columbine). I pretty much ignored it. Then I went to the toaster to toast my bagel.

There was this girl standing in front of me wearing pink pajamas. She was staring at the lunch ladies, and her eyes were getting wider and wider. I was in a morning stupor; I hadn’t noticed the rest of their conversation. I asked what was going on. . .then I popped my untoasted bagel out of the toaster and ran back to my dorm to check…when the towers fell, I was in my CC class, talking about Aristotle…they made us go to class that day…

Last year, when the air attack against Afghanistan started, I was at a friends house enjoying the company and beer and Jackass on TV when we switched the channel and saw Osama bin Laden on TV and the reports coming in, bin Laden speaking, the English interpreter, and the Japanese interpreter over that. It was supposed to be a fun three-day weekend, and it suddenly turned sour.

It was in the same room a few years earlier when NATO attacks on Yugoslavia started up, and I was intrigued by the though that I was in the same place with the same friends drinking hte same beer, while the same shit goes on in the world.

So I changed beer brands

I remember crowding around the TV with the rest of my Gifted-and-Talented class to hear the OJ Simpson verdict. When he was pronounced “not guilty,” we didn’t quite understand why our teacher was so upset. Of course, we were still relatively young and didn’t know all the inner workings of the trial.

Princess Di’s death. I was in a chatroom late that night for some reason, and people from England were in there discussing her car wreck. I ran into my mom’s room to tell her–she’d always sympathized with Princess Diana.

Mother Theresa’s death. I remember being floored when I saw it on the front page of the paper. It just didn’t seem right. I kept getting a song line in my head–“Ma Theresa’s joined the mob and happy with her full time job.” Not very reverent…but still.

Oklahoma City. That was bad.

Columbine. I heard about it right after school on Tuesday, April 20th, 1999. My mother picked me up from a scholar’s bowl meeting and told me. Later on, my boyfriend at the time called me and I told HIM.

September 11th, 2001: I was asleep when it happened. I woke up to my roomie’s TV blaring the news. She came in and said that a plane had just hit the World Trade Center. I was awake when the second plane hit the tower. I was awake when the towers fell. I was numb when I walked downstairs for my in-dorm English class. My English teacher didn’t even try to conduct class; she told us to workshop our partner’s paper and then we were free to leave. A friend of mine who lives in my dorm was freaked out about his dad, who works in the Pentagon. I also talked to some dopers who were worried and like many dopers, prayed to hear from ** vix **.

I’m not as old as Dave but I remember most of what has been said.

I was present at:

A green flash,

Two lightining strikes that hit me.

At the baracuda Red Eye’s demise off the beach at Little Jost Van Dyke, BVI

On the stage at Driller Park in Tulas Oklahoma when Wayland and Hank Jr. flubbed the lines of a song they were doing togethere.

Oh, you meant BIG things…

Challenger, I remember it vividly, as Ellison Onizuka was a former resident of Hawaii.

I remember Reagan getting shot.

9/11, I have a friend who was in the second World Trade Center tower and she wrote the most harrowing account of her escape that I have read yet.

I remember Nixon resigning. I was kind of young, so it was all rambling to me, but I remember listening to him on the radio.

I remember the Sylmar CA Quake. My first “major” quake. Didn’t know what quakes were, they weren’t even in my consciousness. Until one morning I am knocked out of bed, it’s bedlam, my dad gets cut so bad from broken glass that he has to go to the emergency room, etc.

Reagan being shot. I heard it coming home on the RTD bus.

Chernobyl. I guess I heard it on the news. (Probably Hal Fishman and KTLA, which explains why I am so sentimental about KTLA. They have reported so many big news events to me)

Challenger. I was going with my dad to pick up my sister to go somewhere. She greeted us with the news that the Challenger had blown up. I wouldn’t believe her for a while. I had nightmares about it that night.

'87 Whittier Narrows Quake. (That was '86-'87, wasn’t it?) I remember sitting outside with my dad, in the car - we thought it was safer than being inside.

“Black Tuesday”. (That was 86-87, right?)

Lockerbie plane crash. ('89, right?)

Fall of Berlin Wall.

LA Riots. I remember sitting transfixed in front of my TV, afraid to go out, listening for sirens coming closer and closer, and always being careful to get home in time for curfew.

Northridge Quake. Woke me up, all my crap that I hadn’t put away came cascading down on me. The water in the pool was sloshing so much, it was trickling down the stairs, onto the street. It was so dark, and quiet.

OJ’s slow-speed run down the 405. I listened to it on the radio, while I was driving on the 210 coming home from work. (Not near the 405, thankfully.) Got home in time to watch the rest of the thing on TV.

OJ’s verdict. Watched it at home.

9-11. Was awakened by my sister, who called and called and called until we answered the phone. I work nights, so I was asleep when she called. She was crying when she told the news. I had to go to work that day anyway - but I hardly got anything done. Just glued to the TV.

Well, I’d say I was only actually present at four major world events, and that was by sheer luck. Yes, it’s true. I was at the US Air Force Academy when Air Force beat Notre Dame in four consecutive years!

But as to the more notorious events, I experienced them vicariously through mass media just like most of the rest of us. Only a couple affected my life personally and directly, though.

Desert Storm. I was active duty, with a little baby. Fortunately, my job spared me direct conflict, and I “fought” the war from an underground bunker with a mundane, if classified, mission in the States. Some friends weren’t as lucky.

September 11, 2001. I was 2 years out of the AF, and blissfully ignorant of military matters. In fact, the attack happened while I was in a PTO meeting at my daughter’s school. Some old buddies called my mobile to inform me of what was going on (there were already rumors of call-backs), and I passed the info to the administration. As PTO treasurer, I left the meeting to take some cash to the bank, but my Spidey sense was tingling, so I went back to school. Turns out that my 4th grader remembered that daddy had been a sometime accident investigator, and was freaking out that I’d be called away. I was able to pass her a note letting her know that my obligation to the US was complete, and that it was now my job to protect her. I’ve always liked that in the wake of that terrible loss, I was able to give Bear the closure I wasn’t aware she was missing.

There’s one major event I’m particularly happy I missed: Challenger. On January 28, 1986, I worked in NORAD/USSPACECOM’s Missile Warning Center in Cheyenne Mountain, where one of our jobs was to monitor domestic launches. Early that morning, I set up the domestic launch conference for STS-51L, an event that was usually routine to the point of boredom, and went home to sleep until my next midnight shift. I couldn’t then, and cannot today understand the confusion and pain the poor guy who followed me had to deal with. Of course, many were closer to the event than we were, but I remember the guy telling me how surreal the minutes and hours following the accident were, and how impotent he felt.

I can only hope that our children will be able to answer a similar thread with more Halley, Hawking, MLK, and Discovery (first STS after Challenger) events, and fewer Hitler, Hussein, and Manson ones.

Mt. St. Helens Eruption…this fascinated my family to no end. We were across the country, but it was just one o fthose amazing things.

Reagan being shot and the Pope being shot. The Pope actually stands out a little more because I went to Catholic school, so of course it was a big deal.

Release of the hostages in Iran, barely, along with the hijacking of the Achille Lauro.

Among those already listed, I remember…**Challenger, Berlin Wall, Chernobyl, Lockerbie, Berlin Wall, Desert Storm, OJ’s freeway ride and trial, OKC, the school shootings in Paducah, Pearl and Columbine, and 9/11. **

Gee whiz, a lot of you must be very young. There were only two posters who remembered events from more than about 10 years ago. And of course, most of these were events involving americans.

So from the other side of the world, and confining myself to events that made the world news… the early Sputniks, in the late 1950s. Going outside to gaze at the sky in the hope of catching a glimpse of a tiny moving light.

mid 60s - the Vietnam war, in which many Aussie soldiers died. And came home to appalling treatment as though it was their fault for being soldiers. Many were conscripted. My husband-to-be just missed out on being conscripted in the ‘draft’ (done on the basis of birthdays).

1969 - first man (Neil Armstrong) on the moon. Watched it on TV, same year I got married. Which has just made me stop and realise that prior to the late 50s/early 60s, we didn’t have TV, so world events were only read about in the newspaper, so unless you were there, you didn’t really ‘experience’ it (i.e. see moving images, only newspaper stills).

And of course, many of the events listed by other posters I can also recall, except those involving american sporting people - who cares? - these are NOT world events. However, some of those involving american politicians made news here, especially (both) Kennedy’s assassination and JFKs funeral, Watergate, Chappaquidick (sp?).

Chernobyl, Princess Di’s death.

Earliest memory of significant news - JFK being killed. I was in the 4th grade. I remember seeing the funeral procession on TV.

I have vague recolletions of the early days of the space program. I watched man on the moon. I remember VietNam body counts and protests. Beatles on Ed Sullivan.

By my high school years, I was more aware of stuff happening in the world, tho I chose to ignore lots of it. Watergate was boring to me, as was almost anything political.

But the most vivid for me have got to be JFK, Challenger, and WTC.

Everything from JFK being killed on. The onlly event I can claim to have personal knowledge of is the Baby M surrogacy trial. I was living in New Jersey at the time and unemployed, so I went to the Hackensack courthouse every day and followed the whole thing.