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Memories of World Events

Updated on July 6, 2017
Virginia Allain profile image

Virginia finds people's memories of great events important to save. She's collected them from friends, family, and fellow writers.


Share Memories of the Moon Landing, Celebrity Deaths, and Other Momentous Events

A great moment in history or a moment of horror locks into a person's mind those events. Years later they will still remember vividly what they were doing when they heard the news.

Think back to the day Ronald Reagan was shot, the Berlin wall coming down, Pearl Harbor, the first man to set foot on the moon, the planes crashing into the World Trade Center and other events of modern times.

More topics to remember: The fall of the Berlin Wall is one of the turning points of modern history and should certainly be covered. The death of Diana Princess of Wales was a turning point for one of the oldest Monarchies in the world. The election of Obama as the first Black President of the US was a significant event for the world. The disbanding of the USSR.

We really do need to reflect on past memories and what we were doing on those important milestones in modern times.

Where were you and what were you doing when these momentous events occurred? Share with us your thoughts and experiences from those times.

Take time to read the memories posted by my friends, family, and fellow writers. I found them quite interesting.

One event that I watched on TV with my parents and knew that it was historic in its way was when Hank Aaron broke Babe Ruth's home run record.

— Joan Hall

The Peoples' Princess - Diana

Princess Diana captured people's hearts, so her wedding and later her death stayed in their memories of important events.
Princess Diana captured people's hearts, so her wedding and later her death stayed in their memories of important events. | Source

Memories of the Marriage and Death of Princess Di

Evelyn Saenz - When Charles and Diana were married I was vacationing in Costa Rica where most people thought it was no big deal. I didn't get to see it on TV but did get to read about it in Spanish in the local newspaper.

Andy from London, England - I was stranded near Komodo Island, the Indonesian archipelago when Princess Diana died. The plane had broken down and by the time I got back to civilization I may have been the last person on the planet to find out about the accident.

Bill from Gold Coast, Australia - Princess Diana and John Lennon would be worthy inclusions here. I remember the day Diana died as I was upset that the football game I had planned watching on TV was not on due to every channel covering her death.

ChrissLJ - I was a waitress in Branson when Princess Di died. One of the (male) bosses worshiped the princess and broke down bawling when he heard. Several years later I moved to Paris for several months. When my hostess was giving me a car tour of the city the first day there, she made a long detour home just so she could show me the precise location of the wreck. Even though it was about 5 years after her death, I remember there still being flowers at the wreck site. That was the same year that the US flew planes over Chinese airspace and several of the European news agencies were reporting possible war repercussions. Not the best time to be abroad.

WindyWintersHubs from Vancouver Island, BC - I was very saddened by Princess Di's death and heard the news of an accident on the radio while I was at work.

WhitePineLane - An event in my life where I can remember exactly where I was when it happened was Princess Diana's death (had just put my 7-month-old firstborn to bed). I loved Princess Diana. We were the same age - both born in 1961.

I certainly remember finding about John Lennon and Princess Diana - but I also remember very clearly having to pull over because I was crying too hard to see when Harry Chapin's death was announced on the radio. I think these deaths are probably less "world events" than events that hit some people harder than others. You could add the Tiananmen Square event - I actually saw that on CNN when that tank pulled up to the defiant student and stopped...

— Karen

Renaissance Woman - These powerful events tie us together in community as a nation. I appreciated this opportunity to remember and to honor those who provided service during these times of great historic proportions.

A Memorable Event in the DC Area - Arrest of the Beltway Sniper

Frischy -- I think I will always remember the day they arrested the Beltway Sniper. For almost a month we had been living under this threat whenever we went out in public. People had been killed pumping gas and walking through parking lots, activities we did every day. Even a child was shot in a schoolyard.

As Halloween approached, there was no question in anyone's mind that there would be no trick or treating. It was scary just to leave the house. We crouched down pumping gas and prayed the shooter would not drive by our child's school.

The day they caught those guys was one of tremendous joy! I immediately went out and bought Halloween costumes for my children. Many other mothers had the same thought as the costume store began filling with shoppers. It was a happy day!

My husband has told and retold the story of getting hit by a car the day World War II ended. There was celebrating in the streets all across the USA.

— Joan

Memories of the Challenger Explosion

Evelyn Saenz - When the Challenger blew up I was substitute teaching in a second-grade classroom. We were watching the launch because the kids had been learning about that mission. They had learned all about each of the astronauts on board and were excited. When we saw it blow up, one of the kids thought he saw the astronauts falling out of the ship and land in the water. He was sure that they were all alive and would be rescued.

Karen Kolavalli - Other events that are frozen moments in time for me were the Chernobyl and the Challenger disasters. I was working as a legal secretary at an electric utility and was working at my desk during both of them--couldn't believe what I was hearing on the radio that played quietly at my desk. I suppose like the Kennedy assassination, the reason those made such a lasting impression on me was that nothing like that had ever happened before. Kennedy was the first assassination in our living memory. Sad that there have been so many since then.

aquarian_insight - I remember the Challenger disaster so clearly because my dad had told me all about the teacher who was going to space.

2016 - The 30th Anniversary of the Challenger Explosion

Memories of Elvis

Barbara Walton - The death of Elvis Presley. I was quite young and had been on holiday in France. The first thing the guard said to us at the border at crack of dawn was that Elvis had died.

BarbaraCasey - Elvis' first TV appearance. I still remember that one.

The fall of the Berlin Wall: Watching East and West German relatives finally able to be together, to hug and cry was an emotionally wrenching event, and all those people climbing, jumping, going through openings like a flowing river to reach freedom was an exceptional experience.

— Nancy Carol

Breaking News


A few more of the events in my life where I can remember exactly where I was when they happened:

--Nixon resigning (My dad called us all in to watch it on TV)

--John Lennon being killed (Couldn't sleep, was in bed with the radio on)

--President Reagan assassination attempt (at work)

--John Belushi's death (In my car, driving home for the weekend from college)

— WhitePineLane

I never thought that people could actually remember what they were doing when JFK was shot. I just figured they made something up just to have something to talk about. But since 9/11, I've changed my mind. I know I'll never forget not only what I was doing, but also exactly how I felt when I saw it on the tv.

— Othercatt

Here's Your Chance - Tell Us about Some Event That You Remember Vividly

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    • Nadine May profile image

      Nadine May 8 months ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      Loved reading your post. The day Princess Diana died, that same day I had a talk and workshop booked. Needless to say, my talk had to drastically change since most people were totally traumatized by her death and how she died. The workshops were about expressing our emotions through doodling, so I used the tragic event instead of what my program originally was going to be.

      Oh yes, the day Kennedy has shot my mom and dad ( in Holland) were watching the news on TV and called us ( my sister and I) from our bedroom ( being teenagers.) We were all shocked and truly sad because he truly was - and still is today the ONLY USA president we liked!

      Nixon resigning... We were glad..after the Watergate scandal. We stopped watching the news from then on about USA politicians, especially when a previous movie star became the president...

      John Lennon his death was again a very sad moment for many of us.