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Where were you when... meme - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
Where were you when... meme
Gakked from thewhiteowl

1. When John F. Kennedy was shot (22/11/1963)
Not born.

2. When Mt. St. Helens blew (18/5/1980)
Perry, New York. It was the end of fourth grade. I found out about it on the news when I got home from school (which was in Geneseo, the SUNY lab school, not long before it closed)

3. When the space shuttle Challenger exploded (28/1/1986)
Home from school sick and watching TV. Saw it live. Didn't believe it. My Spanish teacher had applied to be the teacher-in-space. A kind of sad irony, she died later that year in a traffic accident.

4. When the 7.1 earthquake hit San Francisco (7/10/1989)
At Tufts. I believe I was going into the dining hall when I heard about it.

5. When the Berlin Wall fell (7/11/1989)
Also at Tufts. I wasn't sure what was happening.

6. When the Gulf War began (16/1/1991)
Still at Tufts. It had been expected for awhile, but no one knew exactly when. I came back to my apartment and found my housemates gathered around the TV, watching.

7. When OJ Simpson was chased in his White Bronco (17/6/1994)
Day off from work in Buffalo. I don't remember what I thought I was going to watch, but the Bronco was on a special report, and I just kept thinking, "Um... is this really national level news?" And yet, didn't turn it off. (I was in Bills country. The Juice trial was big.)

8. When the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City was bombed (19/4/1995)
At home (still Buffalo). My grandmother and her husband were on the way in, and I had to tear myself away from the news to help them with their things, and I was the one who told them. Once their stuff was brought up to the apartment, the four of us all sat there, and I remember my grandmother saying, "What is wrong with the world, that someone would do such a thing?"

9. When Princess Di was killed (31/8/1997)
It was Labor Day weekend, Sunday night, I think. I was watching TV with my mom in Albuquerque when the reports started coming in, and they were very confused all night. I went into work the next day and asked my boss if I should put out the books about her, and it turned out my boss had been out in the woods camping all weekend and I had to tell her what had happened. She didn't believe me until she saw it on the news later.

10. When Bush was first announced President (7/11/2000)
No clue.

11. When the 6.8 earthquake hit Nisqually, WA (28/2/2001)
I have only the vaguest of memories of this. I was in Boston, but that's all I know.

12. When terrorists destroyed the World Trade Center (11/9/2001)
At work in Boston. My colleague had a meeting with our boss, and we were fretting over some coverage issues. I was alone in the department. We got a mysterious e-mail from security, saying "Due to events in New York and Washington, we are increasing security and checking all bags at the door." Nothing was specified. I tried to get onto CNN, but it had crashed. When I went downstairs, people were saying, "Is this really happening? It looks like a movie. Is it a fake?" Literally, people were saying that. Finally, we found a reliable news site and had it up when the buildings started to go down. I had to go to a desk with no connection right after it, for two hours, and it was the longest two hours I've ever spent at work. I had to answer surreal questions from tourists who couldn't get home--"I was going to go to the art museum, but it's closed. Is it going to open? I have nowhere to go!" Meanwhile, I'm between two skyscrapers, and the mayor decreed that we were not going to close. It was a very long, terrifying day. I took a cab a home, and the driver was an Arab, and I remember feeling awful for him and telling him that he needed to be careful who he picked up, because there were rumors going around and I didn't want him to get hurt. I was very confused.

13. When Columbia disintegrated during re-entry over Texas. (1/2/2003)
I don't remember.

Added elements:

14. When John Lennon was murdered (12/8/1980)
In Perry, fifth grade. I heard about it on the radio news very early the next morning, while I was getting dressed. (I set up my bedroom and closet doors to make a little cube around the heat vent to keep warm, and I was in there when it came on.) My mom was a huge Beatles fan and they were always part of the household soundtrack. I had to pass the news on.

Added element from ashtur:
Added Element

15. When President Reagan was shot (3-30-81)
My friend Tasia and I came back to my house after the bus dropped us off at the local elementary school (it was when we were going to the aforementioned lab school). My mom was the girl scout leader, and the whole troop was already there. We listened to it on the news before the meeting. I was pretty young and kind of rolled my eyes, knowing that my mom hated Reagan, and she chastised me for not taking it seriously when a man had been shot, whoever he was. The lesson of the day was that no matter how much you dislike a person, it's always a bad thing when violence comes into the picture.

4 comments or Leave a comment
From: ex_tsunamisu361 Date: March 26th, 2004 03:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
All very tragic and surreal events in their own way. I can't attest for the ones I hadn't yet been around to see, but the ones I have lived to witness certainly made an impact.

unrelated side note: You went to Tufts? Interesting. I grew up in Davis Square.
From: a_p_ Date: March 26th, 2004 03:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
These are always interesting to me -- what people remember about these moments...My biggies:

3. When the space shuttle Challenger exploded (28/1/1986)
At school. The 8th graders had watched it live in class, and were ordered not to tell any of the younger kids anything. I didn't know until my mom picked me up, and she was really upset by it. The replay of Challenger exploding really, really shocked me that night.

4. When the 7.1 earthquake hit San Francisco (7/10/1989)
Watching the World Series (or waiting for it to come on, watching the pre-game...?). I remember the feed cutting out, and vaguely wondering what kind of technical difficulty had occurred.

6. When the Gulf War began (16/1/1991)
Doing homework in my bedroom. My cousin -- who has a flair for the dramatic -- YELLED from the the den, "GUYS, WE'RE BOMBING IRAQ!" Watched the news all night.

7. When OJ Simpson was chased in his White Bronco (17/6/1994)
Watching Game 6 of the NBA Finals...no wait, I was listening to Tom Brokaw occasionally tell us the score in between running commentary on the chase. If I weren't a Knicks fan, I probably would have been much more interested in OJ. ;)

8. When the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City was bombed (19/4/1995)
It scares me -- I'm drawing a blank on where I was when I first heard. :(

9. When Princess Di was killed (31/8/1997)
At home, packing to return to Boston for my sophomore year of school. My family wanted to take me out to dinner -- before leaving, news was just breaking of an accident, and we couldn't believe Fayed (sp?) was dead. When we got back home, they were announcing that Diana had died.

10. When Bush was first announced President (7/11/2000)
I'm not sure what this means. When the Supreme Court decision came out? When Gore conceded? In any event, I'm a political junkie, I know I was watching with baited breath somewhere. ;)

12. When terrorists destroyed the World Trade Center (11/9/2001)
I heard about the first plane crash walking to the bus, listening to the radio on my headphones (my stupid behind had watched SportsCenter all morning, and hadn't heard any news before leaving the apartment). On the bus, the second plane hit. I said something out loud (probably "WTF?!") causing people to give me strange looks, tossed the headphones, and immediately called my parents, who weren't home, and then I got my mother at work, who didn't know another plane had hit. Got to work, parked myself in front of my boss' TV, watched the Towers fall (the absolute worst and most frightening moment of a terrible day), heard about the Pentagon, and Pennsylvania, before I was thankfully sent home. I was mess. Everyone I know was alright (including a friend from school who worked at the WTC), but that was an unimaginably awful day. I couldn't sleep for the longest time, the whole thing...well, I think we all know what that day was like.
erised1810 From: erised1810 Date: March 27th, 2004 11:41 am (UTC) (Link)
Wow...this was impressive. The one that had the most impact on me of course was the WTC. For one thign I' mfrom holland so we're 6 horus ahead of NY. this means i didn't hera anythign at work (we wer inan office with no radio or internet etc). adn when I waled home i only heard someone speak about a Boeing adn jsut...well..sortof shoved it aside . For another thing t hough I was in the midst of reading FOTR on audio tapes. SO I sat in my room and continued where I'd last stopped. I tell you, i'll curse myself for being there three hours straight and then comign in agian for dinner. we had this general meeting of hosuemates after that adn THEN whe nsome folsk got u to clear the dishes away someoen else said toturn on the news to see if there was "more news about the attacs on the US". ijsut went blank. It's SO strange to know somethign had bene going on for about five hours adn you'd completely bypassed it.
I can also say one of m ybest friends was o na study trip to washington, adn that exact day she'd panned to spend afeew extra days with her study group and go to New YOrk. Needless to say, guessign she'd either be in washington or NY that day I HAD TO cal her parents to find out more. She's not from america but it's her second home somewhat. and for oen thing I was jsut devastated at all. Nothing has actually caused such a weird tangle of emotions liek that-one.
angel_gidget From: angel_gidget Date: March 28th, 2004 05:00 am (UTC) (Link)
Except for #12, I'd have the same answer for all of these: "I dont' know, because I either wasn't born, or wasn't paying attention." Kinda sad, huh?
4 comments or Leave a comment