What historical events have you experienced firsthand?

I don’t think I’ve seen a thread on this. If there’s been one and this is too close to that, I apologize. In another thread I recounted a time when I was on TV at the “Welcome Home” celebration for the Iranian hostages in the 80s. I have another one I’ll post when I get time, but I was wondering, has anyone else ever been a firsthand witness to something that is considered historical? This kind of stuff fascinates me–I love stories and even used to write history books–and I’d love to hear other peoples’ stories.

I witnessed some of the mass hysteria on 9/11, less than 20 miles away from the actual Pentagon crash site. I didn’t witness any of the planes or the actual crash, though.

A few because of my work:

In 2000, I worked for the OSCE department of elections in administering the first elections in Kosovo after the Serbian withdrawal. I was at the ballot count center after the election working on tallying the votes when the database crashed minutes before a press conference at which we were to announce the results. I played a pivotal role that day by hovering over our programmer reminding him how little time we had before the conference started. Here is our historic exhchange:

ME: 10 Minutes left!
PROGRAMMER: Can you do me a favor?
ME: Anything!
PROGRAMMER: Can you get away from my desk?
And I did, and the rest is history.

I also was in Baghdad the summer of 2003 after the US invasion and witnessed some of the looting; later on April 1 2004, I was trying to drive back to Baghdad from the north when the Sadar uprising started and ended up driving to the border with Turkey to fly back to the states. I was also living in Baghdad in 2006 outside of the Green Zone when the fighting was at its worst.

Beirut for (a) the car bomb that killed Rafik Hariri and (b) the massive demonstrations that drove out the Syrians.