filched from Sheryl:
When Mt. St. Helens blew (18/5/1980)
Not quite in kindergarten yet. 🙂
When the space shuttle Challenger exploded (28/1/1986)
In Mrs. Canady’s fourth-grade class in Riverview, Florida (near Tampa). We were watching it live on TV, and there was a collective gasp as the shuttle exploded. Our classroom was connected by one of those accordion-walls to Mrs. Bateman’s social studies class next door, and Mrs. Canady quietly went to the back of the room where the wall was always partway open. She called Mrs. Bateman from her class to the back corner of the rooms and told her, “The space shuttle just exploded.” And I distinctly remember Mrs. Bateman saying, “Oh, my God.”
When the 7.1 earthquake hit San Francisco (7/10/1989)
Eighth grade—I recall the news coverage, but not precisely where I was when I first heard.
When the Berlin Wall fell (7/11/1989)
Again, eighth grade, although I didn’t really grasp the significance until the following year.
When the Gulf War began (16/1/1991)
Ninth grade when the actual declaration came out, but my more vivid memory is of being in eighth grade and hearing about Operation Desert Shield, which had an ominous foreshadowing about it. I recall being freaked out by the prospect of war, and rising gas prices, and death, and everything else that would come with war. As war was declared, when I was in high school, I was still apprehensive, and began wondering about what would happen if the school buses couldn’t run because gas was too expensive.
When OJ Simpson was chased in his White Bronco (17/6/1994)
Summer before college. I only vaguely recall seeing the news coverage. What I recall more vividly was the OJ verdict, which was announced during my semester at home from college. I spent a lot of time at home, laying on the cream-colored carpet of the living room, writing and reading and listening to the radio and watching the OJ trial.
When Princess Di was killed (31/8/1997)
Just home from my final season of drumcorps and back at college with my roomie Amy. I don’t recall any specifics about the news coverage, although it didn’t take long to get sick of hearing Elton John singing “Goodbye English Rose.”
When the shooting at Columbine occured (25/04/1999)
It was early afternoon in Kohl Hall, and for some reason, Amy and I weren’t playing video games. I think we heard someone in the hallway talking about turning on the news, so we did, and we watched the scene unfold. Shocking, frightening.
When Bush was first announced President (7/11/2000)
Living on-campus, by myself, the semester after Amy had graduated. Beyond that, don’t know, don’t care.
When terrorists destroyed the World Trade Center (11/9/2001)
Living off-campus on Ridge Street. It was a Tuesday, and I had no classes that day, but I hadn’t turned off my alarm. I automatically wandered across the bedroom to shut it off, but hearing Tom Brokaw’s voice instead of bad music stilled my hand, and I listened for a moment. As soon as I woke up enough to almost realize what was going on, I turned off the clock radio and turned on the TV in the living room. I forget who called first, Aaron or Beth, but I was on the phone with Aaron as the second plane hit. I believe the quotable of the moment was “Holy shit…”
When Columbia disintegrated during re-entry over Texas. (1/2/2003)
Living in the duplex on South Grove with Aaron. I don’t remember the day or the time, but I remember being shocked and saddened to have seen two shuttle accidents in my lifetime.