Roger von Oech

Creative Think

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Cam Beck

Good list. Here are two more I remember vividly: Tiananman Square Massacre in China, and the day the Berlin Wall "fell."

In both cases, my dad woke me out of bed and asked, "Do you want to see history being made?" Since I was living in Berlin at the time, I was actually able to go down to stand on the Wall near the Brandenburg Gate the next day (and the day after).

Wonderful feeling. Neither event can be used for communist propaganda and should serve as a whack on the side of the head for ages to come.

Alex von Oech

New Year's Eve 1999. The last moments of the 20th century and the first moments of the next millenium (technically 2001 was the first year of the third millenium AD, but nobody cares about technicalities when you're staring at a grandiose number like 2000). The much publicized Y2K bug. Would old OSs around the world fail creating a 'chaosscenario'?

And one that I wasn't around for but stung for most westerners who lived through the 60's.

John Lennon's assassination - Dec 8, 1980.

Roger von Oech

Cam: 1989 holds some memories for you!

Tiananaman Square Massacre: I was at the Rodin Sculpture garden at Stanford with my (soon-to-be) five year old son. I had just bought him his first knife. We got in the car and that was the breaking news. I told him he would never forget that day.

Fall of the Berlin Wall: I cheered from my hotel room in Philly.

Alex: Most people learned about Lennon's death from Howard Cosell who announced it during Monday Night Football (back in the day when MNF was a big deal)

Valeria Maltoni


We cheered about the fall of the Berlin wall from the same city!

Got another one for you: Chernobyl -- April 26, 1986. I lived in Italy at the time, much closer. I was in the kitchen with my younger sister and mom when the news broke.

patti digh

I remember many of the same ones, Roger. And one more, from a small Southern town: I remember when man first walked on the moon. Everyone else was watching TV, but we were on the rough cement driveway looking up at the moon, waiting for it to explode. My PawPaw had told us that the Bible said the moon would explode if man walked on it. Ah, what a memory...

Lynn Cutts

I too remember most of the events mentioned above, especially when man first landed on the moon. My parents had taken us on a camping vacation, which meant tents and campgrounds for four solid weeks. But this time, we checked into a motel (it was a Holiday Inn) in Amarillo Texas, so we could watch on TV. I don't know what was most exciting: the air conditioning and soft beds, the motel's swimming pool, or the moon walk. Or Walter Cronkite tearing up on national TV.

Bryan Loar

Although Sputnik & the moon landing were before my time, I too remember the Challenger explosion & 9/11.

It's curious to me that most of the lasting impressions listed are events which have some sort of negativity attached to them.

I'm not a psychologist, but it seems to demonstrate that recall is affected by distress (psychological or physical). I'm sure the media has a strong role in reinforcement as well.

It also might just demonstrate that we need a creative "whack" instead of a creative "gentle push".

Doug Barber

"some of the fellowship money I received to go to Stanford came from a National Defense Education Act grant"

Clearly yet another proof of the idiocy of government.

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