In 1985 I attended a Friends General Conference in Pennsylvania. and signed up for an Autobiographical Writing workshop. We were asked to recall our experience of historical events during our lifetime.
I recalled the bombing of Pearl Harbor (my parents brought me to the radio to hear in 1940).
The death of Roosevelt in 1944.
Atom Bomb dropping in 1945
Listening to news of the Bay of Pigs invasion on a city bus in Atlanta, in 1961.
Watching news about the assasination of Kenned, and the shooting of Oswald. (Was it live? It seems so). 1963
The assasination of Martin Luther King in 1964.
Segregation in the South. (A family from the Mule Train stayed overnight with us in Atlanta.) 1968
Watching the First Man on the Moon on tv 1969
I took brief notes from the memories of other workshop members:
Berlin Air Lift, spring 1948
During the communistic liberation in China in 1949, saw several professors conscripted to carry baggage for the national soldiers. Students identified the professors and tok their places due to respect, To avoid looting, the town prepared food for the fleeing national soldiers.
On a train in Japan when the civil rights movement was going on.
In October of 1929, was 9 years old and riding a bike during the collapse of the stock market. Parents looking glum, strained. A neighbor, an officer in a bank, shot himself.
One post-sputnik Christmas one woman received a chemistry set. The next spring the family drove four hours to the National Science Fair in Washington, D.C.
Mother crying at Kennedy’s assasination in 1963.
In 1939, while in nurses training, reading of SS troopers breaking the glass of Jewish merchants. The article was titled “The Night of the Broken Crystals.”
Execution of the Rosenbergs–the family was early friends of the Rosenbergs. “Ethel’s not going to leave her kids for an idea.”
Recalling when Nixon and Reagan were elected.
The Depression: “Use it up, wear it out, or do without.” The thrill of getting new fabric for a dress from an aunt. A visit to Hoover Village.
Tornado May 5, 1936. He was a teacher at a school in Tupelo, Miss. It got dark early–lightning, noise, hailstones. He held on to a lawn chair, then let it go. At 9 p.m. it was lit clearly. No injuries at the school. Fires were beginning around the school, but rain began and stopped the fires. Destruction in town. He helped drain hot water tanks for first aid victims. There was a half mile or desruction.
July 3, 1929 (56 years ago, in 1985) Navajo Reservation. They were holding a sing. They played a game where a rock buried in the sand was picked up on horseback. The Choca Canyon bridge washed out.
Geraldine Ferarro’s nomination.
Dartmouth College student pacifists. Interviewing William Buckley on Pacifists. Passing out cigars to celebrate the Cuban revolutiion. (David Greenstein).
Viet Nam war. Daughter going with draft dodging boyfriend to Canada with Peaceniks.
Anyone want to share any of their historical memories?
My parents took us to Florida to watch the launch of Apollo 11. Even miles away, we felt the mighty Saturn rocket in our bodies. As significant as that historic event was, I recall the experience for personal reasons. With the vibrations resonating inside of me, it was the only time as a child I acknowledged my chest. In my young mind, chests were the possessions of “real boys”, a class I was excluded from.–owningitlog