Saturday, February 12, 2011

Independence Day

ROSEMARY: It's hard to think about anything today other than the events in Egypt . I've been riveted to the television since yesterday and all the silly irritations and issues I whined about earlier in the week evaporated as I watched people jubilantly celebrating the freedom they had risked their lives for.

None of us knows (not even Jim Lehrer - whom we all love) what the future holds for the people of Egypt but it was undeniably one of the most historic moments in recent memory - and as much as pundits are pointing to facebook as a catalyst - or at least an accelerant - it was the retro medium of television that made the event real for millions of people all over the world.
I was nowhere near a television for Hurricane Katrina or the tsunami and I've seen the Kennedy assassination so many times on video...but I don't remember seeing it firsthand.
These are my most memorable television moments (I wish more of them were as joyous as yesterday's.)

In no order -

-Mubarak's resignation

-Nixon's resignation

-The attack on the World Trade Center

-Nelson Mandela's release

-The fall of the Berlin Wall

-Princess Diana's funeral

-Neil Armstrong's walk on the moon

-The Challenger explosion

-The Munich Olympics

-The Beatles on Ed Sullivan

What have I forgotten?


  1. Yes, TV has informed our lives, hasn't it?

    I was watching TV when Jack Ruby came out of the crowd and shot Lee Harvey Oswald, right on camera, live. I must have been in the seventh grade, and it was incredibly shocking. Then who can forget the image of a sweet little John-John holding his grief-shrouded mother's hand, and Caroline, with her little coat in the funeral footage?

  2. Princess Diana's wedding.
    JFK's funeral.
    The OJ car chase.

  3. Right...the OJ car chase. I was at Madison Square garden at a Knicks game and they started to show it at half-time. Bizarre.

  4. Robert Kennedy's assassination.

    In my case, the moments following 9:02 a.m. on April 19, 1995 (The Oklahoma City bombing). I had the TV on as I put on my uniform and grabbed my gear to head to the scene.)

    Let's go for something happy, Princess Di's wedding.

    The return of the Iran hostages (to the accompaniment of Neil Diamond's "We're Coming to America".)

    Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream Speech".

    I'm old. I've lived through a lot of history, though not all of it was played out live on TV.

  5. Apollo 13, right? And the Challenger explosion. Christa McAuliffe. And I had to go on live to break the news and photos of the Oklahoma City bombing. (Silver, I probably saw you! Wow.)

    And the Chilean miners!

    As for the OJ car chase, I was at a big convention of invstigatiove reporters.We were all in a hotel in St. Louis, and everyone stayed in their own rooms--but with all the doors open.

  6. The first moon walk...Neil Armstong's unforgettable "one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind" and I can tell you where I was and who I was with. We got up at 3AM so my daughter could watch Lady Diana Spencer become the Princess of Wales.

  7. I think the most hauntingly memorable day was September 11th. I was at the hairdressers and couldn't belive what was happening. Someone from an office next door came in to tell us the planes were from Boston.

  8. Our relatively short, small lives are filled with historic, heartwarming and horrific milestones. My top in order of my level of remembrance:

    JFK assassination and funeral
    Civil Rights Riots of 60's and King's assassination
    Columbine shootings
    Challenger explosion
    Fall of Berlin Wall

    Happier ones: Baby Jessica rescued from well and Chilean Miners.