1. John F. Kennedy was shot (11/22/1963)?
My mom was 12. She was in 7th grade. Thus, I was not born.
2. Mt. St. Helens blew (05/18/1980)?
My family had a fire in our house about the same time (May 1980). I was 2.5 years old. I remember the fire. I know nothing of Mount Saint Helens.
3. When the space shuttle Challenger exploded (01/28/1986)?
I was eight and in Mrs. Brewer's second-grade class. The way I understood it, some classes were supposed to watch the launch... but not ours. I remember walking home from school that day... with just a "wow" mindset. It was the first "big thing" in my life.
4. When the 7.1 earthquake hit San Francisco (10/7/1989)?
I was at a Boy Scout troop meeting. My mom came to pick me up afterwards and told me about it. I was especially interested in the World Series that year because my Cubbies made it as far as the NLCS before being beated by the Giants.
5. When the Berlin Wall fell (11/7/1989)?
I was 11 and still in 6th grade. I remember it happening... but I don't think I fully understood the importance. However, I knew it was a big deal because I was among the last few kids that was taught about the "evil commies." My dad once worked for the Civil Defense. Our town's siren system had an invasion tone ready to sound.
6. When the Gulf War began (1/16/1991)?
I was 13 and in seventh grade. Both Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm sort of blend together in my mind. I can remember that the Christmas tree in our school in December 1990 was decorated with American flags and yellow ribbons. I also remember our local national guard unit being deployed. Tons of people got up before dawn one morning to wish them farewell.
7. When the first World Trade Center bombing happened (02/26/1993)?
I was 15 and in ninth grade. I was in the car with my mom and we were driving around the town square when we heard the radio new report. It think it snowed that day. How I remember such things is beyond me.
8. When OJ Simpson was chased in his White Bronco (6/17/1994)?
The week of the murder, I'd been working as a lifeguard at a Boy Scout camp. I didn't see a newspaper until, perhaps, the last day of the week. In it, the sports editor wrote a column about how he hoped O.J. was innocent. I went home for the weekend and went to my little brother's Little League game. When we got in, the chase was on.
9. When the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City was bombed (4/19/1995)?
I was 17 and in 11th grade. For some reason, I don't remember us finding out about the bombing at shool. I do remember my mom telling me about it after I got home. I was glued to the television all evening and into late night. It was probably the first event where I simply couldn't get enough news.
10. When Princess Di was killed (8/31/1997)?
Jessie & I were driving back from Oakdale after watching a football game. It was late... I'm guessing sometime after midnight. We were almost to my house and heard the radio news report.
11. When Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold opened fire on their classmates at Columbine High School (4/20/1999)?
I was in the student newspaper office -- layout room, to be exact -- and Jessie called me to say that there had been another school shooting.
12. When Bush was first announced President (11/7/2000)?
I was actually in Washington, D.C. the Wednesday after election day and for several days afterward. Of course, nothing was announced the entire time I was there. What's odd... is that I don't remember it becoming official. Like... I remember that it happened, but I don't have any "where were you" memories attached.
13. When the 6.8 earthquake hit Nisqually, WA (2/28/2001)?
When what hit what? I guess I was out of the loop on this one.
14. When terrorists destroyed the World Trade Center (9/11/2001)?
I was in bed at college when the attacks began. Jessie called me to tell me in time for me to see the first tower collapse. Of course, you can read more here.
15. When Columbia disintegrated during re-entry over Texas (2/1/2003)?
I had been asleep on the couch in my mom's living room. She woke me up to tell me when the first reports came across.