Study of Monumental TV Events: Where were you?


, Blogger: Orry's Orations
This week, Sony and Nielsen released the results of an impact study that focused on the most monumental moments in history which were watched on television. The key question was how many folks remembered where they were when these events happened. As I reviewed the list, I found that some are clear as a bell, but others more vague.

View attachment 1818 The study also considered the level of communication people had with others after the fact; more specifically, was there water cooler chatter going on after viewing the drama on the small screen.

The ten events are:

1. Attacks of 9/11 (2001)

2. Hurricane Katrina – the levees break (2005)

3. O.J. Simpson verdict (1995)

4. Challenger space shuttle disaster (1986)

5. Killing of Osama bin Laden (2011)

6. O.J. Simpson white Bronco chase (1994)

7. Japan earthquake (2011)

8. Columbine school shooting (1999)

9. BP Gulf oil spill (2010)

10. Princess Diana’s funeral (1997)

Living on the west coast, I woke up to my music station blaring Lee Greenwood's God Bless the USA and a news report about the 9/11 events. I bolted for the television. Who could ever forget those TV images?

Katrina was brutal to watch. I was home when it happened. I can't say I remember the exact time, though. However, I do remember the incredulous verdict in the Simpson trial. I was at work and when the news came in that the verdict was coming down, the supervisor in charge actually let a bunch of us go outside to a friend's van that had a TV in it. We all huddled in and were gaping in shock at the words we heard.

I was home and watching 4, 5, and 6 on the list. I actually do remember watching and being gripped by all of those happenings. The Japan quake, though, was emotionally gripping to me. Watching the Challenger explode was horrifying, but as bad as that was, I found watching the flooding waters erasing the landscape one of the worst things I have ever seen. There was this realization that I was not just watching a flood destroying homes, but I was watching those waters killing people. There were people being engulfed by the water, driven vehicles disappearing, and I was literally watching life ebbing into darkness. I hope to never have that view again.

As for 7 and 8, I watched the news, of course, but I am not sure I recall the actual moment or how soon I tuned into it. I was, however, glued to Diana's funeral. What a sad day that was.

What about you? Do you remember where you were on these historic and mostly tragic days?