Where Were You?

By: pbcmedia

Jul 21 2008

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Category: Culture, Historical events, History, Life, Personal, Random, The Single Life


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Where were you (or perhaps you weren’t even born yet?) when Neil Armstrong walked on the moon? Today is the anniversary of that day back in 1969.

My memory is here in a previous post called, Time It Was

But, I am more interested this morning in what collective memories we all have of this particular day or any other national, international event where you remember exactly where you were when you heard the news.

In my lifetime, the moon walk is one. Alan Shepard’s launch into space was another. John Glenn’s first earth orbit (I guess I was a spacey girl right from the start). The Cuban Missile Crisis: the ships carrying the missiles to Cuba turning back. Assassinations of JFK. MJK. RFK. The Space Shuttle explosions, both of them. Attempt to assassinate President Reagan. Berlin Wall coming down. These are the way back ones.

What events in your life do you remember exactly where you were when you heard the news?

Look Back.

Where were you?

Tell us.

Let’s remember together.

10 comments on “Where Were You?”

  1. I don’t remember about when JFK was shot but I do remember when I saw the news of Churchill’s funeral. I was in the lounge room watching the news with my mother and grandmother (who had been in the London during the Blitz). I hated the news when I was little and I said to my mother, “do you have to watch this?” “It’s boring!”

    Quick as a shot my grandmother smacked me in the mouth and told me to shut up with tears in her eyes.

    When Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, I was in my first year of high school. several hundred of us pupils were in the school gym where we watched it on one TV.

    I’m so glad I saw it and it rates as one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen.

    I was absolutely besotted with the whole space thing. I used to draw diagrams of the of the route the astronauts were going to take. I even did a whole science project on the subject without even being asked by my science teacher and I gave it to him.

    This was at time when I used to refuse doing any homework at all and I was regularly caned because of it.

    I was in my living room in Toronto Canada when I heard that Elvis had died and I can remember thinking, “it figures”.

    I heard about John Lennon getting shot as a sat at my parents kitchen table and I was so shocked and I just felt numb. It seemed so pointless and such a waste.

  2. Thank you so much, Razz, for these memories! This is exactly what I was hoping for…some memories that I had forgotten, e.g. Churchill’s funeral. I watched the whole thing on TV, remember that shot high high up in Abbey of the flag draped coffin…and elvis and john lennon, yes yes.

    The fabulous memory of your plotting of the route the astronauts were going to take! Did your science teacher appreciate it??? A project done without even being asked???’ Sounds like TeacherCrack to me. Don’t tell Nat.

  3. “Did your science teacher appreciate it”

    I think so. I thought he was a good teacher and I liked him. I came first in science that year.

  4. Well, hallelujah! Your memoirs I guess have been mostly on earlier years perhaps, but I’ve yet to read about a adult in your education who made any positive contribution to you at all. So, I’m glad to hear that the tide wasn’t completely out the whole time.

  5. I remember the moon landing. I was 4 years old. I have a blog entry about it “First Memory”.

    The big ones for me were

    Elvis: The woman who lived next door didn’t come out of here house for a week.

    Princess Diana: I was on a little island in Indonesia and some local told me my Queen died. I hate to say it, but I was a little relieved when I found out it wasn’t Queen Elizabeth 2. I’m not a monarchist, but I like the Queen.

    Pierre Trudeau: former Canadian Prime Minister was another.

    Always sad to hear about certain people passing, but not too many give me a flashbulb memory.

  6. I think I will date myself (as in years for a change) if i were to really answer this one. Let me start with… If I could spend a day in that head of yours I think I’d be fascinated!
    Erm right I was in the bus heading to the depths of no where when I heard the news about Kurt Cobain, I cried.
    When Mandela was released I was sitting in front of a tv grinning ear to ear in a room filled with vile racists.
    News of Princess Di’s death stopped a massive argument between my mother and I faster than a rabbit caught in head lights. It quite possibly saved mothers life, don’t know for how long though at the rate she is going.
    I was in the PR office of a government department in London when the twin towers were hit, as the second plane flew into the building our code red alarms went off.
    I think I am getting carried away now, I have lived a long time see.
    Oh, before I forget, Neil Armstrong… I was sitting on the northern star of the Virgo constellation shaking my head thinking that perhaps he should have chosen different coloured undies, pink just did not match the flag!!!
    Hmmm probably forgotten so many… the one I can’t wait for? Mugabe being found guilty for war crimes, ooo serial it is coming!!!
    Right now I need a drink!

  7. This may be my favorite post based on answers! PR, I’ll go find first memory but I’m impressed at 4 years old you remembered the moon landing! Wow. And the lady who didn’t come out of her house for a week? I didn’t know we lived next door to one another….oh, I couldn’t resist, could I? But, I also remember that…in Washington, DC in a very, very hot apartment listening to the radio. The King is Dead, the radio announcer wailed. And, Princess Di!
    I feel sure that is an event that many younger people will remember for sure. And so interesting that you were relieved it was not QEII…I like her as well. I like how Helen Mirren talked about her after doing the movie, “The Queen”…very sympathetic to her. Pierre Trudeau I remember well but not news of his death. O, this is so interesting. Thanks.
    Sanity! I too remember when Mandela was released from prison. I watched live on the ABC television network here in US. Ted Koppel went to SA to cover it and I remember him standing outside the prison waiting for his release. Your memory of elation next to the room full of racists is just sublime. Another item for the book, girl. You have lived several volumes, I think. Ah, the towers! So, interesting that it only took the second plane to signal the code red. I don’t think we responded that quickly. As for Neil and your view from the northern star? Your eyes were tricking you. I can tell you without utter confidence that Neil Armstrong was never ever a pink boxer guy!

    Thanks so much for all of these memories. It makes this day even more significant.

  8. I was three when Armstrong took his first steps on the moon so I cannot say I remember a thing about it. Come to think of it, the only vivid memory I have of these times was my 14 year old sister throwing all my records by the window one early Sunday morning… I still haven’t forgiven her. That’s what being a Scorpio is all about.
    I do remember watching the news report of the Munich hostages on our black and white TV set sitting on my dad’s lap.
    In summer 76, I was stuck to the TV witnessing Nadia Comaneci score her perfect tens in Montreal (I’m still stuck to the TV at every Olympic games.)
    I think that the event which troubled me the most though was in 1985. There was a mudslide in Colombia, and for four days, we all watched the agony of nine-year old Omeyra, trapped in the mud, with her gray hands and the gigantic dark circles under her eyes. All the reporters arriving by helicopters yet the Colombian government unable to find transportation for a water pump that could have saved the little girl’s life. The memory still makes me twinge. I was studying journalism at university at the time and it really opened the debate regarding the role of a reporter.
    The Fall of the Berlin Wall – What a party!

  9. Oh my!

    I don’t remember at all Neil Armstrong’s walk on the moon at all. I guess I was likely taking a nap or being held by my Mom or Grandmom since I was only a month old.

    I remember when the Challenger exploded tho and Kristy Maculffie (sp?) was killed. I was, I think in 6th grade and we were watching it on TV in my 6th grade teacher’s living room. She lived across the street from the school and there just weren’t enough TV’s in the school for all the classrooms to view it even if we all doubled or tripled up.

    I remember when the Muir building in Oklahoma City was attacked. My eldest was only a little over a year old. The same age as the little girl in the famous photo. We were sitting in our new apartment in a suburb of Minneapolis and all I could do is hug my little boy.

    I remember the day and the days after vividly when the World Trade Center Towers were attacked and I remember this as the ONLY time I can ever remember programing on PBS being interrupted. My sister called me and said turn on your “TV NOW.” Didn’t tell me why, just to do. Just then my 3 almost 4 year old turned on the TV and was bummed because Barney wasn’t on. I had to distract 4 youngsters, ages 1-7 from watching too much of it all day, but I was glued. I knew a childhood friend of mine was visiting NYC that week. I knew family that had traveled that direction for a wedding in Boston and were traveling home from the very same airports. I was glued. I was homeschooling my eldest at the time – we had a very serious history/social studies lesson that day. We also painted as a family a huge flag on a piece of cardboard that was wrapped in plastic and hung off the front of our front porch for weeks afterwards.

    I found out later that my friend had visited the WTC two days before this horrible day, and that my aunt and uncle were set to be on one of the flights but were bumped to a better flight just a half an hour prior.

    I also remember when the lights went out all over NYC. In fact we were traveling, in two cars with my parents, my husband and I and our 4 kids, AND a niece and two nephews. 7 children, 4 adults and a desire to see the Statue of Liberty. We pulled up over the hill in New Jersey where one would typically see the lit up skyline of the Big Apple and all we saw was darkness. The only lights were those directed on Lady Liberty herself.

    I have vague memories of the death of Elvis – but I think it’s because my mother is such a big fan and she was devastated.

  10. Nat! Nadia Comeneci! I so remember that as well but needed a little prompt! Ahem. Tell the truth, Scorpios usually do things to their sisters to make them throw things out windows! Or am I confusing Taurus with Scorpio? Anyway, Munich Olympics 1972! Oh, yes. I was in Heidelberg Germany at the time and watched it on TV with two German pensioners who lived next to me. I ate zweiback toasts with raspberry jelly! Now, I shouldn’t remember what I was eating while watching a tragedy unfold…Do not remember the Columbia story AT ALL! Thanks!

    Arynsmom: The Challenger really really affected me. One year previously I had a play produced and the main character had this dream of her stillborn baby taking off in an ill fated space shuttle that ultimately exploded in mid air. (See, I was a barrel of laughs back then, too, people.) But, there had never been a space shuttle accident prior to the Challenger, at least, in flight. So, it felt just terrible to me.
    The 9/11 stories I could listen to all day. A day truly that brought me to my knees in front of the TV watching the towers collapse. At the time we thought we were witnessing at least 25-50 thousand people die–as they reportedly were still in the process of being evacuated. The most chilling event in my lifetime. So far….

    A blackout in NYC is best experienced from New Jersey…even if you can’t see Lady Liberty too well.

    Did your mother live next to PlanetRoss? That woman didn’t leave her house for a week after getting the news of Elvis’ death. Thanks!

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