1. Nashville flood, 2010 -- I did my college internship in Nashville, I have a lot of friends in Nashville, and most significantly, I *ALMOST* was in Nashville that weekend. I watched the video online of school houses picked up by flood waters and floated down I-40 until it hit a semi when it disintegrated and I forgot about eating for a couple of days because I was so worried about friends. Unlike the others, this was very personal.
2. 9/11/01 -- I can't remember much about the day before but I can tell you ever detail of that day, beginning with when my co-worker came in and said a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center.
2. Oklahoma City bombing, 1995 -- I was in college and I called home to tell my mom that I'd be late. She said a bomb went off in a building, and I thought she meant something like the Unibomber's little blow-up-the-trash-can bombs. When I finally got home and saw the destruction my heart fell into my stomach.
3. The Challenger explosion in 1986 -- that was the first space disaster the U.S. had suffered since Apollo 1 (which I also remember). I remember President Reagan's wonderful speech that night and how I just felt numb all day long.
4. Princess Diana's death, 1997 -- not that I was into following her every move or anything, but the thing that outraged me was the fact that we had THREE 24-hour news channels on cable and not a single one of them could interrupt reruns to cover the news story because it was Saturday night on Labor Day weekend. (This later repeated itself when Chief Justice William Rhenquist died on Labor Day weekend.)
5. Lennon's murder, 1980 -- I never cared for John Lennon's music or his attitude but as someone said on the "Behind the Music" on Lennon's death, NO child should EVER have to walk over a pool of their father's blood to get into their house.