Monday, May 2, 2011

An Historic Day

ATC of the USS Arizona in Hawaii that I
made with Nat Geos and Citra Solv
Today is indeed an historic day for the whole world.  I'm not one for chanting or hyperbole (unless I'm talking about amazing pieces of ephemera!), but it is an exciting day nonetheless.

May 1 and 2, 2011 will now count as "where were you when...." days.  In my lifetime there are relatively few but here are some I can remember:

December 8, 1980 (the day John Lennon was murdered):  I heard it on the radio.  The radio stations played "Imagine" more times in that week following his death than probably the last 30 years combined.  It was the first time I can remember a celebrity being killed (I was only a year old when the Manson murders happened).  I was already a huge Beatles fan, even though I was only 12.  I remember being really bummed because I'd never see them get back together.

March 30, 1981 (the day President Reagan got shot):  I can remember coming out of Chorus in 7th grade when I heard the news from another student - they let us watch TV the rest of the day.

January 28, 1986 (the day the Challenger exploded):  I was in my US History class, coincidentally; because I was a senior in high school and had very few classes left, they let us watch TV in the Little Theater for the rest of the day.

January 15, 1991 (the day the first Gulf War started):  I had just started dating my first husby and heard about it at his parents' house.  When I returned to my college house my roommate Sandy was so worried that her brother in-law would be deployed.  We had protesters picketing across the street from our house that night.

January 1, 2000  - I was one of those annoying people who wondered why we were celebrating the new millennium a year early, but it was exciting nonetheless.  I was at my brother in-law's house and we made a time capsule.

September 11, 2001 - I was in my car on the way to work at Waldenbooks.  Since all information was so new, there was much speculation and rumor about what exactly occurred.  They eventually closed the mall where I worked because there was word going around that "they" were targeting shopping centers.  Those were weird times.

Last night and today:  I heard about it on Facebook and watched President Obama's speech last night.  It hasn't really sunk in yet but we shall see in the coming weeks and months how this plays out.  I don't believe in  vengeance so I have no feelings like that whatsoever.  I know emotions run high in the early moments of any major event so I like to hold back until we know more about a situation.  Of course it's doubtless that today will go down in the history books as a major bright spot for our military.

How about you?  Do you remember where you were on these dates?  Do you collect ephemera pertaining to events like this, which unite us as a country?  Because so much of the things we see now are online, I do wonder what will actually be printed out with this news - certainly people will keep today's newspaper, but what else will be printed?  Will there be pin-backs made?  Bumper stickers?  Handbills?

If you do collect commemorative ephemera, I'd love to see it.  In the comments below, let us know what you collect (or artwork you've made with the ephemera!) and post a link.  I hope to see lots of cool stuff!  :D

P.S.  Don't forget to sign up here for your chance to win an ephemera pack from moi!  I'll be drawing the name at 5 p.m. CDT tonight!  :D


  1. Great post. These are indeed the moments we remember. My rundown of your dates:

    December 8, 1980 (the day John Lennon was murdered): My mom and I were watching Good Morning America in the kitchen of our house in Montoursville, Pa.

    March 30, 1981 (the day President Reagan got shot): It was announced over the school intercom as I was sitting in my fourth-grade classroom.

    January 28, 1986 (the day the Challenger exploded): I was home sick from school and we watched it live on TV in Largo, Florida.

    January 15, 1991 (the day the first Gulf War started): I was a student at Penn State. We watched the events unfold on TV.

    January 1, 2000: Was working in the newsroom of the Spartanburg (S.C.) Herald-Journal that night. What a boring non-event.

    September 11, 2001: Would normally have been asleep, but I had an interview with a source that morning as part of my job for the York (Pa.) Daily Record. Ended up spending all day and night in the newsroom.

    Last night: Heard the news first from the ESPN announcers covering the Phillies-Mets game!

  2. Lovely article, Mel!

    My parents collected newspapers - not in fantastic shape, just the papers that they read or the front page or clippings. We have them all.

    I'd like to get a GIANT scrapbook - the old fashioned kind and start cutting and pasting memorable things the old-fashioned way. I used to do this ALL the time when I was a child. But, it doesn't seem to be the same when most stuff isn't in print - to print it from the internet and then paste just doesn't make it somehow for me.

  3. Chris, it's so awesome that you posted the same dates. It appears we're three years apart so we have a lot of shared memories of the events. Thanks so much for posting them! :D

    Annie, I would also love to start an old-fashioned scrapbook before the Interwebs supercedes all printed material. You're absolutely right - NO WAY will printing out an article or photo ever come close to the pulpy newsprint that yellows with time (as it should). Long live paper! :D