Friday, September 11, 2009

Where Were You When?

A couple of weeks ago I commented on the forty year anniversaries of the first moon landing, Woodstock and the Manson murders. Today I woke up to wall-to-wall coverage of the eight year anniversary of 9-11. It made me wonder what events are stamped in the collective conscious of our memories. My apologies to my non-U.S. readers for the jingoism here.

What public events have made a permanent impression on you? The following list is what I think are the big public memory events, they are not necessarily my own personal biggies.

July 20, 1969 The first landing and walk on the moon.
April 12, 1961 Soviet Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, first human in space.

September 11, 2001 The 9-11.

November 9, 1989 The Berlin Wall comes down.
[June 15, 1961 The Berlin Wall goes up.]

December 25, 1991 The official end of the USSR

May 10, 1994 Nelson Mandela sworn in as President of South Africa

December 7, 1941 The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

August 16, 1977 Elvis Presley dies.
December 8, 1980 John Lennon dies.
May 14, 1998 Frank Sinatra dies.
November 29, 2001 George Harrison dies.
June 25, 2009 Michael Jackson dies.
September 16, 2009 Mary Travers

November 22, 1963 John F. Kennedy assassinated.
April 4, 1968 Martin Luther King Jr. assassinated.
June 6, 1968 Robert F. Kennedy assassinated

March 30, 1981 Assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan
September 5, 1975 Assassination attempt on President Gerald Ford
September 22, 1975 another assassination attempt on President Ford

May 8, 1945 VE (Victory in Europe) Day ends WWII in half of the world.
August 6, 1945 Hiroshima, first atomic bomb dropped.
August 9, 1945 Nagasaki, second atomic bomb dropped.
August 14-15, 1945 VJ (Victory in Japan) Day ends WWII.

April 29, 1975 U.S. troops leave Vietnam.

After the assassination of JFK and the moon landing, my two biggest public memories are:

May 1968 France is shutdown by student/worker strike. I was a student in Germany.

August 9, 1974 Richard Nixon resigns the U.S. Presidency. Still one of the great highlites of my political life and one I still take way too much pleasure in. But . . . once again, "Ding-Dong The Dick is Dead!"

What did I miss from your memories? Remember these are shared public memories, leave out the 'First Time I had ...' send those stories in a private email.
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photo credit: archives

6 comments:

michele lewis said...

will the private stories be published in your new book?

PokerShrink said...

Stories will be published if you include polaroids.

AmyC said...

I remember standing transfixed in my Poughkeepsie NY bedroom on August 27, 1990 -- when the radio announced that Steve Ray Vaughan was dead.

APOSEC72 said...

SRV was one for me - working with a photographer here and we were just in shock about it hearing it on the radio.

April 8, 1994, Kurt Cobain found dead - another shock moment, this time at school where a few hundred of us all had the same reaction.

Mr P said...

Growing up in Australia means the timing is off for all of the things. ie September 11 happened at around 9pm. Lady Diana was Sunday morning, etc.

PokerShrink said...

I agree Mr P.

Notice that VJ Day actually is two dates, since victory in Japan happened on one date and in Europe and the U.S. the day before.

I would like to see this list from residents of other countries and from readers younger and older than I.