January 28, 2003
This Day In History

Jan 28 1986

Space Shuttle Challenger disintegrates 74 seconds into its flight, killing teacher Christa McAuliffe and the rest of the crew. Their capsule plunged intact into the ocean, pulverizing everyone on impact.

Where were you when this happened?

Posted by Ellen at January 28, 2003 06:54 PM

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I was in my bedroom ironing jeans watching the Shuttle launch on TV, Tom was in the den watching on another set. I walked down the hall stunned and ask "What just happened" His reply was "They are all dead"

Posted by: Pat on January 28, 2003 07:22 PM

you iron your jeans??

Posted by: Ellen on January 28, 2003 07:58 PM

I was in my junior year of high school, sitting in math class when the announcement came over the speakers what happened.
I remember sitting in the stunned silence and then the tears we all shared. I don't remember the rest of the day.
E u were probably only 5 at that time. The whole nation mourned. I'd guess it was about equal to the Kennedy assassination (he was one of our Presidents).

Posted by: Cindy on January 28, 2003 11:32 PM

I haven't ironed anything, except for Scott's shirts at your house, in years. I have no idea why I was ironing my jeans, I think I forgot to take them out of the dryer smarty pants! LOL

Posted by: Pat on January 29, 2003 12:05 AM

I have no idea what I was doing...I wasn't even two and a half years old yet.

Posted by: Dawn on January 29, 2003 02:28 AM

I was in elementary school. My bus driver told us when we got picked up to go home.

Posted by: richie on January 29, 2003 04:35 AM

I was also in school, watching it on the TV. Shuttle launches were still significant events back then (do they still show them on TV at the schools?), especially that one since a teacher was going up.

We were horrified.... the teacher didn't know what to do, turn it off or leave it on... she opted for the latter. Funny, I can remember her reaction, but I couldn't remember what grade I was in....

"Space shuttle fell out of the sky/
And the whole world cried"
- Nineteen Something
Mark Wills

Posted by: Jim S on January 29, 2003 11:17 AM

Senior in HS, sitting in the library trying to figure out what I wanted to do for my very first "term paper" (all 3 handwritten pages of it as I recall). Secretary ran in to talk to my English teacher and I heard her say "the shuttle blew up!!!" I thought, "no way, shuttles don't blow up, it probably just caught fire on the pad or something. Stupid secretary."

I can't remember if I saw the video of it first at home (we lived 2 blocks from the school and I got lunch at home) or at school, but my first reaction was, "nope, wrong, damn thing did blow up."

I find some parallels with 9-11. People "get sick" and "don't want to watch" and "think it's disrespectful" to show any of the footage on TV right now, just as they did the shuttle back then. Took ~10 years, but now it's shown with no drama, sometimes simply as a symbol.

Of course, the two are different in magnitude and in kind, so the analogy can't be pushed too far.

Neenah either was a little baby or hadn't been born yet, so she beats you Dawn :)

Posted by: scott on January 29, 2003 11:41 AM

5th grade, Mrs. Twigg's math class. We were all called to the cafeteria to watch it on tv, over and over and over again.

Posted by: Battie on January 29, 2003 03:02 PM

nina wasnt born yet. she probably doesnt even know about it yet alone knows what the space shuttle is

Posted by: richie on January 29, 2003 05:20 PM

I was in grade school. I remember watching it on the tv because they were showing the shuttle launch and did not expect that to happen. So I saw it live.

Posted by: Ellen on January 29, 2003 06:12 PM

I was sitting at work complaining that we had to be here instead of watching the launch. Our electronics technician noted that there was a cable hookup in the projection closet behind the conference room. So we wandered down the hall and joined the crowd of 6-7 people that were crammed in the doorway to the projection closet watching the launch on the 9 inch tv. (the projection closet is only 4 feet wide and about 12 feet long).

We got there just as the shuttle launched. 90 seconds later half of us were standing there stunned while the other half ran off in tears. Word spread fast, the crowd grew and it was almost 90 minutes before I could get back out of that room. Didn't matter I didn't get much done the rest of the day anyway.

Posted by: David on January 29, 2003 06:58 PM

I was at work, too. My co-workers knew I was a NASA fan, so when it happened someone got me out of my meeting to tell me the news. I had been really excited about the launch, since the 28th's my birthday, too.

Posted by: mkh on January 30, 2003 01:08 PM
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