Significant dates in history: Where were you when?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Jack Briggs, Feb 27, 2002.

  1. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    [Not really a poll; just an attempt at a fun discussion.]
    I've always enjoyed hearing people talk about where they were and what they were doing when they "heard the news." So, I think it would be entertaining for everyone here to share their stories. I'm listing some of the most significant dates in recent history--though that most recent one, for the obvious reasons, will not be discussed here. Please tell us, briefly, where you were and what you were doing on these dates, and how you heard the news.
    December 7, 1941: I was more than a decade from making my debut, so no comment here.
    November 22, 1963: I was on the school playground; it was recess (and about 2 p.m. local time). A kid who lived across the street from me came to my little group, shouting, "Kennedy's been shot!" We were all hustled back into the classrooms, and the intercom was on with a live radio broadcast. That was one of the worst weekends in my memory, all of it spent in tears.
    February 9, 1964: Okay--not Earth-shakingly historical, but significant nonetheless. I was in my bedroom, watching on an old black-and-white set. When Ed Sullivan said, "And here they are--the Beatles!," it was as if my life had itself gone from black and white to glorious color. Nothing has been the same since.
    July 20, 1969: Like nearly everybody else in the free world, I was glued in front of the television, fully aware that I was witnessing humanity's greatest achievement. I was cheering when Neil Armstrong reported, "Houston, Tranquility Base here," and I was in muted awe a few hours later when the same astronaut said, "I'm about to step off the ladder now..."
    January 28, 1986: It was about 11-ish in the morning, and I was writing catalog copy at a publishing house. The department's receptionist came to me and a few of the graphics people: "The space shuttle just blew up," she said, face ashen. In a daze, I ran down to the recording studio, where a television was up and running. I cried all day and all night, and couldn't go in to work the next morning.
     
  2. Kevin P

    Kevin P Screenwriter

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    December 7, 1941: My parents were just starting kindergarten or 1st grade or something like that, so I don't remember much. [​IMG]
    November 22, 1963: I was still about 3 years away from making my grand appearance, so my memories of that date are pretty foggy too...
    February 9, 1964: See 11/22/1963.
    July 20, 1969: I vaguely remember being at a summer cottage at the lake, and my parents struggling to get a picture on the 12" black & white TV with a pair of crappy rabbit ears. Otherwise, not much. Note that I hadn't turned 3 yet, but I remember that TV (and playing with all the knobs on it to see what they did!). I was well on my way to become a Home Theater nut. [​IMG]
    January 28, 1986: I was in a math class in college. They had TVs in every classroom, so after the lecture we tuned in to watch the historic launch. They had a satellite dish so we watched the NASA feed at first, so there was no commentary other than the NASA guy (no news people). Therefore, when the explosion happened at first none of us realized something had gone wrong (I had never watched a shuttle launch before), though it didn't seem quite right to me. We realized something happened when the NASA guy came on and said "Flight controllers are looking at the situation, obviously a major malfunction..." Understatement of the century! The instructor turned white as a sheet--we learned later on that she was close friends with Christa McAuliffe. At that point we switched to a network channel to find out more. Of course, the networks knew about as much as we did at that point, since they were watching the same NASA feed. We all left the classroom in a state of shock and classes were canceled for the rest of the day. I spent the rest of the day glued to the radio when I went to work and then to the TV when I got home, to try and find out more about what happened.
    September 11, 2001: I was at work, and was just about to start working on a software problem, when someone came over and asked me if I had a radio, and told me what had happened. I have a boom box on my desk, so I put the radio on. The FM station hadn't interrupted regular programming yet so I found an AM station and listened in shock until they got a TV set up in the conference room, where we watched the events continue to unfold. (Edited out details of the event to minimize shock factor)
    KJP
     
  3. Moe Maishlish

    Moe Maishlish Supporting Actor

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    January 28, 1986 - I remember this vividly, despite the fact that I was only 10 at the time. It was recess and I was in the fifth grade. I remember sliding down a patch of show which had frozen and turned into ice. When I got to the bottom, I made my way back up to the top of the "slide" for another go, and I heard a couple of classmates talking about the shuttle. The recess bell rang about 10 seconds later, signaling the end of the break. When we got back to class, our teacher sat us down and explained to us what had happened. I don't remember being able to properly comprehend the situation.
    September 11, 2001 - I was in my apartment getting ready for work, with the radio news playing on my clock-radio. (I usually get to work later then everyone else, as my job is not dependent on when I get there). While I was in the bathroom combing my hair, the news was interrupted for special report, where they announced that a plane had hit the first building. I quickly ran to the living room and turned to CNN to catch the live report. Seeing the pictures, I understood what was happening and proceeded to get to my car to drive to work... I listened to the news the whole way down. When I got to work, no one had heard, so I was the first to break the news. Let's just say the rest of the day sucked. It took me a week to stop weeping over the entire incident, and to this day I get watery-eyed when I think about it. I don't suppose that will ever change.
    Moe.
     
  4. Bruce Hedtke

    Bruce Hedtke Cinematographer

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    Jan. 28th, 1986-

    I was sitting in my 7th grade Social Studies class. The teacher was going on and on about something and the principal interrupted him. I was near the back of the room and the principal was talking low. At first, what I heard was "The Shuttle just flew up". At the time, I was very much into the space program and I knew it was a big launch because Christa McAuliffe was aboard and when I heard the principal say that, I raised my arms and did a "YES!!" sort of thing. Then, I realized that the teacher and the principal weren't happy. They looked quite disturbed and I quickly put my hands down. They left the room and moments later, wheeled a television into the class and we all got to see the horror for ourselves. I can tell you, I felt about 2 inches tall all day.

    As for the other dates...I wasn't aboard this mortal coil yet, so no comment.

    Bruce
     
  5. CharlesD

    CharlesD Screenwriter

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    Cool thread idea!
    Dec 7, 1972: (Apollo 17) I'm too young to remember (or be alive for) the earlier events, but I do remember the launch of Apollo 17, I was 6 and had got my parents to promise to wake me up when the launch happened, they brought me down and set my in front of the TV, but couldn't get me to wake up, I finally woke up just as the launch vehicle was leaving the pad!
    March 30 1981: (Reagan shot) I was a nerdy teenager whose family had recently moved to the US, and I was shocked that Reagan was elected POTUS (my views on Ronnie are not appropriate for this site [​IMG] ) we were in a shopping mall and I went into a electronics store and asw that all the TVs had special reports on the shooting. I remember one of the anchors getting angry at the off-camera people for feeding him incorrect information.
    January 28, 1986 I was in college, in a Geology lab when the accident happened, I did not find out about it until later when I went into a music store I'd hang out in sometimes. As I went in I said "Guess what?" to the owner having some news (which I now forget) to tell, and he said "The Shuttle blew up!" I thought he was joking and tried to tell him my news, but he convinced me it was for real, so I found a TV going in the lobby of a nearby student apartment building and saw for myself what had happened....
    September 11 2001 I was walking into work when a collegue told be about the 2 planes and the WTC. I assumed the planes were light aircraft. In the office someone had CNN.com up on the computer screen with a photo of one of the towers and I realized that this was no Cessna. Spent the rest of the day watching events unfold on various TVs in the office.
     
  6. Kenneth

    Kenneth Supporting Actor

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    Here are mine:
    December 7, 1941: This was Kenneth minus 23 years so unless I undergo regression therapy to review my past lives, I will never know [​IMG]
    November 22, 1963: At Kenneth minus 4 months I was probably kicking my mommie's tummy
    February 9, 1964: At Kenneth minus 1 month I was definitely kicking my mommie's tummy (let me out, let me out)
    July 20, 1969: Since we are now at Kenneth plus 5 years this is actually one of my earliest retained memories. I can remember the whole family crouched around our little B&W set.
    January 28, 1986: This I remember very well. I was actually at home doing some homework for a college class later that afternoon. I had the TV on in the background and they were covering the launch. When the explosion occurred I went and got my Grandmother to show her. Later when I went to school they had set up a TV and everyone was talking about the disaster. Definitely alot of shocked engineering students on this one.
    I am surprised 9-11-01 is not on the list, but perhaps that is too new and somewhat politized still. In my case I was actually overseas in Thailand at the time and only found out the next day about the events. It was very shocking that way also.
    Kenneth
     
  7. Brian Perry

    Brian Perry Cinematographer

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    September 11, 2001
    I was at my desk at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange when one of my employees said that a plane hit the WTC. I called one of our clients in midtown Manhattan who said that indeed a "commuter" plane hit one of the towers. I took that to mean a small plane. I then walked over to a TV monitor and watched the second plane hit. The Eurodollar and currency pits had already opened and immediately went into fast market conditions. (The stock market hadn't opened yet and would remain closed for four days.)
    The Merc closed all trading at 9:00 and I remember trying to be compassionate for the people who wanted to leave (they thought our building and the nearby Sears Tower could be targets) but yet be able to process the day's trades for our clients. After doing what I could, I walked to my wife's office and listened to the radio and followed the updates on HTF (other news websites were down). When we finally drove home from downtown around noon, it seemed as though there were no other cars on the roads.
     
  8. Julie K

    Julie K Screenwriter

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    November 22, 1963 Gurgling in pre-speech ignorance.
    February 9, 1964 Music tastes already set in stone, the Beatles failed to impress.
    November 22, 1963 Remember my family watching on a small B&W set.
    July 20, 1976 A very significant day, but then I've always been extremely interested in the subject.
    January 28, 1986 Was between semesters at grad school. Heard the news on campus and rushed home to see repeat footage on TV.
    Sept 11, 2001 Had gotten a "happy birthday" call from my mom and dad early in the morning. A little while later my mom called back, with an absolutely sick sound in her voice and a bit incoherent, telling me about watching the second plane hit.
     
  9. Richard Travale

    Richard Travale Producer

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    First two dates: N/A

    July 20, 1969: 6 months old. I was either sleeping, eating, crapping or crying.

    January 28, 1986: I was driving home from the early bird swim listening to the radio. Like most disasters, I thought it was a morning crew hijinx. When I got home and turned on the news, I knew for sure.
     
  10. Joel Mack

    Joel Mack Cinematographer

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    December 7, 1941: 24 B.J.

    November 22, 1963: 2 B.J.

    February 9, 1964: 22 months B.J.

    July 20, 1969: Only 3.5 years old, but I do remember watching it on TV. Don't remember much more than that, though.

    January 28, 1986: I was at work, and happened to be in the breakroom when the networks interrupted regular programming with the news. I went to the mens room, and cried.

    September 11, 2001: I was at home, and turned on the TV (as part of my regular routine) just in time to see the second plane hit, live. I ended up glued to the couch for the rest of the day.
     
  11. CharlesD

    CharlesD Screenwriter

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    July 20, 1976: ahh yes, I remember that too, I was 10 and also already interested in the subject, I remember seeing the first pictures.
     
  12. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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  13. Julie K

    Julie K Screenwriter

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    I sort of figured you'd know that date Jack [​IMG] However, while it was not the first, it did have much more of an impact on me.
     
  14. Alex Prosak

    Alex Prosak Supporting Actor

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    July 20, 1969: I was about 1 1/2 then and don't remember. Probably playing with matches.

    July 20, 1976: Sick with pnuemonia while all my friends were enjoying the summer.

    January 28, 1986: Taking a Calculus II exam in college. The exam went about as well as the shuttle launch. Damn proofs!

    September 11, 2001: Just waking up when they announced it on my radio alarm.
     
  15. Eve T

    Eve T Supporting Actor

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    January 28, 1986
    I was in Alaska and my mom and I were watching the tv, if I recall it was a school day because I usually never got up in the mornings unless I had to, I think I was in the 6th grade at that time. I remember watching with a sense of not knowing what happened. It was to terrible for me to comprehend.My mother explained to me that it blew up, the news teams repeated the footage several times, what I remember most was watching the faces of the parents of the school teacher looking up in the sky....seeming to not know what had just occured. It then sunk into my young mind what had just happened and that people were dead and it upset me very much. What a sad day that was.
    September 11, 2001
    I know this date was not included in your post Jack, however I felt the need to comment on it as it will forever be remembered as one of the most tragic days in history.
    I woke up late that morning and got onto the computer to do a few things, when I got a phone call from my husband telling me to turn the TV on now. As he scrambled for words my mind went reeling...(I'm crying as I write this) the sound in his voice was something I would give a million dollars to have never heard in my life. The voice of a child that is lost, sobbing, I couldn't believe what he was telling me. Our country had been attacked, planes had crashed into the world trade center and the pentagon. His family lives near the DC area and were terrified. It's almost as if the world stopped for a few moments while we were on the phone. All I could think about was the tremendous amount of lives that were most likely lost and I kept thinking this couldn't be real...it just couldn't. My fears were confirmed when I saw the footage on all the channels on the TV. I got off the phone and went to meet my husband at his office. I cried the whole way and quite frankly don't know how I got there without having a car accident. I would give anything that it were all a dream...and that I didn't have this memory in my heart and mind but since it is, I promise to never forget the ones we all lost. I'm sure there isn't another person here that doesn't feel the same way.
     
  16. Shawn C

    Shawn C Screenwriter

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    January 28, 1986: I was in Junior High School in Houston, TX. at the time. I was walking between classes and I overheard the news from a T.V. that was playing in the library as I was walking past.

    September 11, 2001: I was asleep when the phone rang. My wife was in Seattle at the time on business. "We're being attacked!" is what she said. She said that two planes hit the world trade center and the pentagon. I saw both of the towers go down live on T.V. That's the longest time I ever spent watching television at one time. I think I watched from 7:00 am until 11:00 pm that day, non-stop. I did pretty much the same thing the next day.

    My wife ended up having to rent a car to drive back to Vegas from Seattle after staying an extra 3 days.
     
  17. StephenA

    StephenA Screenwriter

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    January 28, 1986

    I was in my second year of kindegarten. I remember talking to a friend about it. We really didn't know mucch about it, due to use being so young. I was 6, he was 5. I remember coming home and hearing about that teacher being from near me. Her name escapes me at the moment.

    September 11th, 2001

    I woke up at 11 that morning. I was sick that day. I go to theforce.net and see a thread about it at the Jedi Council. I then turned on the news, called both my grandmothers, and told my mom about it. My mom, grandmother and I went to school and picked up my sister, which I preceeded to twl her about it. She was scared.

    I also remember where I was when I heard about O.J. Simpson and the murders. I was camping in Maine with my mom, sister, and 2 cousins. My dad had come up to pick me up so I could come home a couple days early so I could study for my 8th grade English test. It was hot that weekend, between 100 and 110. My dad started talking to someone who had just arrived at the campground about the murders and everything. I asked him about it. When I came home I turned on the news and watched the recap of the car chase.
     
  18. SteveGon

    SteveGon Executive Producer

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    July 20th, 1969 - I was going on three so I don't remember what I was doing. Probably getting spanked.
    January 28th, 1986 - I was in junior high at the time. However, school had been cancelled that day due to bad weather. The tv show I was watching was interrupted for a news bulletin about the Challenger disaster. I was very sad for weeks afterwards...
    September 11th, 2001 - I was at home when my brother came in and announced that a plane had crashed into one of the World Trade Center buildings. I turned on the television and was shocked by what I saw. Truly horrifying...
     
  19. Andrew_Sch

    Andrew_Sch Cinematographer

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    I've only had two real "where were you when?" moments in my life so far:

    September 13, 1996: This might not be as important as some others, but I remember that I was in the car in the Target parking lot with my mom and dad when I heard that Tupac Shakur had died, seven days after being shot four times in Las Vegas. I had been expecting this, so it wasn't a big shock, but still bad times.

    September 11, 2001: I was in math class when some of my fellow students starting saying things about New York and Washington being bombed. Nobody made the situation clear and I was thinking actual bombings by fighter jets. Adding to my dismay was the fact that my dad does a lot of work in and around Washington. Then in my next class, Tech Ed, someone had the good sense to turn on the TV and we all saw those now unforgettable images. The rest of the day was pandamonium, with rumors of a still unaccounted-for plane up there somewhere, and kids being pulled out of school by the dozens. I was relieved to see my dad's truck in the driveway when I came home. I also remember that the "O Brother, Where Art There" DVD we had ordered from Columbia House came that day, and it was all scratched up because the center thing broke, but it plays fine.
     
  20. Scott_G

    Scott_G Second Unit

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    July 20th, 1969 Columbus, IN - Richard's Elementery School -All of the 1st grade went into a room and watched the event for about an hour. I knew it was a big deal. All of the grown ups were so proud.
    January 28, 1986 - Cranking out some code in Johnson Hall - Somebody said the Shuttle had exploded. I didn't believe it until I saw the replays. Very tragic.
    September 11, 2001 - N+I (Network Interop World) in Atlanta doing a trade show. My pager went off - a plane had hit one of the WTC's. Thought, "It must just be a small plane - no TV's on yet - let go get a coffee" We got back with our drinks and the Sony booth had the news on the screens. We just watched. I tried to book a car - by 9:15 they were sold out. They didn't close the event until the afternoon. Finally got a car late Thrusday and drove a group home.
     

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