So people used to say something like “Where were you when Kennedy was shot?”, for most of my life I think the closest I could come to that was “Where was I during the attempted Reagan assignation?”, it’s not the same thing, but it’s a President being shot so it’s what came to mind for me in those situations.
Two other things that stick in my head were the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster and Space Shuttle Columbia disaster. The Challenger sticks more in my head mostly due to the imagery of it’s explosion 73 seconds after the launch.
Clearly for many people, “Where were you on September 11th, 2001?” will be that type of question. Personally, that one sticks in my head mostly because I saw much of it live. But then I assume the attacks was designed that way, one crash so that everyone was watching and then additional crashes while so many were already watching. And then so many watched the towers fall so even if you missed the earlier part of the disaster there still parts for you to catch live.
It’s generally disasters or death that people remember: The Oklahoma City bombing (1995), the London Bombing (2005), when John Lennon was shot, when Princess Diana died and things along those lines (FYI, I don’t remember when all these happened). That’s sad that these are the parts of life that people remember and talk about. Keep in mind, it’s not when the event happened it’s really about when you heard about it.
Maybe because disasters are always disasters to most people but great things to one person aren’t always a great thing to another person…
If you can think of some “Where were you?” events, please add them to the comments!