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Key Historical Events — 9 Comments

  1. 9-11 – I who never watched tv turned it on to see the second plane hit. I turned the tv off and swore never to watch tv again.

    on dec 8, 1980 – John Lennon -a man who changed the face of music for the world who wanted nothing but peace murdered in cold blood.

    nov 22, 1963, ms collins fourth grade class at excelsior elementary, shewas crying and we went home early the next day mom made my sister and i watch tv. and i think it was one of the first times people ever watched violence on tv in that manner. I remember his little kids and his beautiful wife and the tears around the world. i was ten

    the challenger disaster – i was cleaning houses and my friend sharon called me she worked at the school and i thought for sure she was joking

  2. As I was born in 1978, it starts with the Challenger disaster. I was 7, in 1st grade and sick at home, watching TV (I wasn’t that sick). I was excited getting the chance to watch a space shuttle launch, and I started shouting for my mother when the booster exploded.

    Another date (I think at least for any Bavarian) was the collapse of Bavarian minister president Franz-Josef Strauss on Oct 1st, 1988

    Sep 11, 2001 I was training a MedEvac unit for KFOR deployment. We immediately stopped training, gathered inside briefing room and watched ZDF for the rest of the day.

  3. For me the dates are about 2 deaths and 2 births –

    The loss of my brother valentines day 1991, life was never the same after that.

    The loss of my father Easter 2004

    The day I got married June, 19th 2005 (fathers day, fell on a holy day, we had to get special permission from the Bishop to marry on that day)

    The birth of our son Nov 2, 2007 ….changing life forever

  4. I would add the
    1) Vietnam War (I will always remember the day it ‘ended’ – I was in North Carolina on travel for work, and my coworker was a vet of that war)
    2) MLK’s assassination (and the Civil Rights movement).
    3) RFK’s assassination happened just as we were graduating, and we wanted to wear black armbands but were not allowed to.

  5. Ok…let me see
    Definately Kennedy…being #1. I was a senior in high school and running the AV lab during my ‘study’ period…this meant I had a hall and elevator pass. I happened to be in the electronic’s lab at the time of the announcement (one of the few places with access to the outside world via radio). Heard the news, once, turned on the TV and saw Walter wipe his eyes and we knew it was for real. Left early to head out to my next class (Chem lecture) and on the way, stuck my head in my history teacher’s door and yelled out “The president’s been shot and killed” and Mrs. Allen SCREAMS at me “that is NOT funny Mr. Shanker, we’ll discuss this later…” but I was already gone (I was one of her A students so she was really shocked that I’d do that). Bell rings, classes change, walked down to lecture hall and told all my fellow students…buzz buzz, teacher walks in and I yell it down to her…she goes out into the hall and returns later. (I’m still in touch with her and that’s her memory of it as well…me telling her walking into the room). The rest of the weekend was a blur…etc etc.

    9/11/01 sitting in my office, one of the fellows comes by and tells me, rest of day spent watching TV in the break room…in shock…wondering among us how long it would be before someplace in your part of the world would be turned into a glowing glass bowl.

    Challenger…sitting in my office when one of the fellows walks in and tells me…back down to the stockroom (they had a small TV, etc), confirmation…shock.

    RFK assasination…(remember saying that I hoped Rosie Greer beat the living crap out of the bastard with the gun.) on the eve of my going on my first leave…to get engaged, etc.

    Oct ’62…Cuban Missile Crisis, leaving home in the am, not sure if we’d get back home, sitting in Physics lab (junior in high school) listening to the news.

    Listening to Alan Shepard’s flight in freshman Algebra…teacher let us smuggle in a radio (verboten normally)…

  6. the Kennedy Assassination tops my list. I was in my 4th grade classroom when the principal made the announcement that the President had been shot. We were sent out for recess and afterwards, as we walked back into the classroom, we heard the words “President Kennedy is dead.” I can see the table I sat at…who was at my table..who was crying. I also remember watching Jack Ruby kill Lee Harvey Oswald. I can see his face as he was shot. The visual memory still makes me hold my breath for a moment.

    The Challenger is on my list also, as is the Twin Towers and the beginning of Desert Storm. These are world events I shared with my children.

    On a lighter note, I attended the Beatles concert at Shea Stadium in New York. In its own way, the arrival of the Fab Four impacted the world.

  7. December 3, 1967: the first human heart transplant was performed by Christian Barnard in Cape Town South Africa. Could not have been done in the US due to the ethical issues and political limitations.

    July 20, 1969: man walked on the moon. Probably the event of human achievement to this point in time. I doubt we will witness anything more important in our lifetimes.

    December 9, 1979 the global eradication of Small Pox, Variola major was certified by a commission, later confirmed by the WHO May 8, 1980. Proving that with a focused and trained international effort a disease could be eliminated. Achieved through cooperation and effort. If we work for a common goal we can complete any task. Why are we not after other diseases like Polio, Malaria, starvation with similar focus?

  8. 6/3/1963 – death of Pope John XXIII. I knew that the man who had made such huge changes in the Catholic Church, would be greatly missed. Even at my young age I was aware that we had lost the one man who could make the Catholic Church responsive to all the people of the world. Could literally feed the hungry and clothe the naked and would not be afraid of women, sexuality and marriage. Knew we would not have another revolutionary for a long time. I am still waiting…

    11/22/1963 – President Kennedy’s assassination – sitting in Mrs Hallissey’s 6th grade class at Queen of All Saints School when the announcement came over the PA system. Kneeling on the floor in shock, saying the rosary with the other 50 kids in my class with the TV coverage on in the background.. . Even the boys (not known for piety) were praying.

    11/09/1989 – Fall of the Wall. Sitting in at USAHC in Rheinberg , Germany watching the celebrations on German TV, wondering how the world would change, hopefully for the better.

    8/2/1990 – Kuwait invasion. Still in Rheinberg, closing down the clinic, but with a field assignment with a station hospital. My husband had just transferred to a security manager position at 7th TAACOM, Zweibrucken, but has a field assignment with the 2nd Armored Divison Forward.

    1/17/1991 – US air strikes begin Operation Desert Storm. We woke up in the middle of the night with the phone ringing and someone asking for my husband, now on the TAACOM commander’s personal staff. Jim oddly quiet as he went in to work. I took the train from Zweibrucken to work at USAHC Bad Kreuznacht, where everyone was already glued to the televisions watching the carrier action.

    9/11/2001 – watching the news on morning TV before going in the college. Jim calling on his cell phone for details, as he drove in to work at DOJ at SF International. I remember wondering how this would change our lives. I flew with Jim to an government meeting in Florida immediately after the airlines starting flying again. I vividly remember the almost deserted airport, Jim flying with his weapon and credentials, the 1st time I remember him doing so. I think there were less than 15 people on the flight, and the crew came and thanked us for flying. Of course it might have been the fact that they wanted to look at the armed man on board….

  9. Woodstock. Folks in my Iowa town went on a rampage against college age
    students. I swore I’d never grow up to be one.

    Kent State shootings. Tianamen Square.

    When Northwestern’s football team made it to the Rose Bowl.

    Mark Spitz’s 7th medal.

    The Moon Landing.

    But for remembering where I was when the various things happened? It
    is odd. With my eccentric amnesia, what I mostly remember is that I
    was in front of the TV. Wherever I was, the important things were on
    the TV. Where the TV was is a completely different question. I
    remember vividly JFK’s assassination. I was 4 years old and under the
    dining room table, and I had a big little-girl crush on the President.
    I remember 9-11 equally vividly. Nothing else is as vivid as those

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