I only remember two events.
Princess Diana’s death – 31st August 1997
In a boyfriend’s mid-town Memphis apartment, waiting for him to come home from his shift, looking at the Web with the TV on in the next room. It was hot as hell. The programme – can’t remember what it was – was interrupted by an announcement that she had crashed. I have to confess to being pretty much unmoved by the news but seriously irritated by the reporting and comment.
I was there when Labour won the general election too.
Margaret Thatcher’s Resignation – 22nd November 1990
I think I may have been preoccupied with my GCSE mocks back then.
Attack on the Twin Towers – 11 September 2001
Matt and I were on our way home from a week in Prague. When we changed in Frankfurt we passed a coffee place with a ceiling-mounted screen showing TV news. We approached from behind the screen and we could see the big crowd of people looking up at it. They were absolutely silent and their faces showed that something terrible had happened. It was eery and my instinct was to quickly walk past without looking. I reached for Matt’s arm but he wanted to stop and look. We saw smoke and people screaming. I yelled at Matt that we should go and then I started walking and he eventually followed. We got our flight okay. Matt’s parents picked us up from Stansted I think it was – it was only then that we found out what had happened. We drove back pretty much in silence with the radio on. We were lucky to get back – airspace closed soon afterwards.
England’s World Cup Semi-Final against Germany – 4 July 1990
President Kennedy’s Assassination – 22 November 1963
I wasn’t even a twinkle.
Update – Muteboy added another couple of UK-specific ones, one of which was:
London Tube and Bus Bombing, 7 July 2005
I would have been on the East London Line. I heard about them in my office – Matt phoned to find out if I was OK because there’d been an explosion – and, it being a day without anything scheduled, a couple of us hurried down to the local pub for a stiff drink and TV news. I texted all my friends and relatives that I wasn’t dead and received texts from London ones. We came back to the office but we were too disturbed to work and wondering about transport home. In the afternoon a lot of people from work converged in another local pub. We drank for the rest of the day. My friend came by and I gave her a kettle I’d brought in for her. Then another friend who worked locally offered me a lift home. The traffic was incredible. It took two hours to crawl to Leytonstone where she lived and I decided to walk the rest of the way. I remember trudging across the interminable wasteland of Redbridge roundabout listening to the radio on my phone and wondering if I would ever be relaxed on the underground again.