Which world events have made the most impact..on you?

Sarah

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Of all the big world events, including celebrity deaths which ones have had the most impact on you personally? And why? It can be anything, dependant on your age, where you live etc. Here are mine - mostly horrific accidents!

1. The Zeebrugee Ferry Disaster (1987) - This happened when I was still in primary school but it left a lasting impact on me and I've had a fascination with it ever since. Read the books, watched the documentaries. Unfortunately I also dream about it quite often and it could be where my strange fear of large ships comes from.

2. Auschwitz (1933-1945) - I've only just become interested in reading up about this and what those people went through. Worst human atrocity ever. Must never happen again.

3. The Omagh Bomb (1998) - just when we all thought Northern Ireland was going to be peaceful, this awful atrocity happened. Will never forget it. Was sitting in the hairdressers at the time and the radio just kept announcing that more medical staff were needed in Omagh quickly. It was a terrible time here, heartbreaking.

4. Death of Princess Diana (1997) - although Larry Hagman's death is the most significant celebrity death for me personally, the scale of grief following Diana's death was unparalleled. I recently visited Paris and saw the tunnel where she died. Very chilling. Still believe she was murdered and have read several books on the subject of her death.

5. The discovery of the Fritzl family in Austria (2008).

6. The discovery of Natascha Kampusch again in Austria (2006)

7. 9/11 (2001). For obvious reasons but also because the world as I knew it changed from that point onward.

8. Lockerbie (1988) - that image of the cockpit lying on the ground never ceases to amaze and terrify me.

9. Dunblane Massacre (1996) - a madman walks into a Scottish school and kills innocent children and their teacher. Horrendous.

10. Columbine (1999) - the start of high school shootings (that I'm aware of) in the USA. I remember reading about it on a plane from Dallas and thinking it was absolutely unreal that this could happen.
 

Emelee

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Mostly disasters for me too. It's not as memorable when everything is same-old, same-old, even when it's happy.

The MS Estonia disaster in 1994.
A cruise ferry going between Estonia-Sweden that sank in the Baltic Sea in the middle of the night because the bow visor came loose. Approximately 850 people drowned. I was 10 years old when it happened, and I still remember how shocked everyone was.

The Asian Tsunami disaster in 2004.
So many Swedes died there, or just were there. It was a national disaster as much as a worldwide disaster.

9/11, of course. I still remember what I did when I heard of the news.

The Utöya/Oslo attack.
Lone gunman bombs a building in Oslo, then takes the boat to an island full of kids and guns them down. So many kids dead.

Princess Diana.

Swedish Foreign minister Anna Lindh's murder --- I am too young to remember the assassination of Olof Palme, but I do remember Anna Lindh. And how she was attacked on that date; September 11th (but in 2003).



Events that I don't remember because I was too young or not born, but they still had a major impact on me:

Assassination of Olof Palme, 1986 --- still not cleared up
Space shuttle explosions on live TV (Challenger especially)
Vietnam war - the use of napalm on civilians. That picture of screaming children.......
 

Willie Oleson

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Man on the moon. I still can't believe that humans have managed to travel to another planet!

Dynasty's final episode. It took me a long time to get over it.

The house scene of the 90s, it was Studio 54 all over again*, and for almost an entire decade. I'm so grateful I've had the opportunity to be "there".

The €uro currency. That's when we became poor. Poor white trash.

Smoking ban in bars etc. They had to take that last bit of joy out of it. Thank you world, for making it such a healthy, boring place.



*wasn't there the first time, unfortunately.
 
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Emelee

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Smoking ban in bars etc. They had to take that last bit of joy out of it. Thank you world, for making it such a healthy, boring place.

Best decision ever!! I can't breathe in smokey areas. I have enough problems with people smoking too close to buildings as it is - I don't want anyone smoking inside them too.
Like my neighbours & their friends, who insist on smoking close to my bedroom window. I want to have them killed off the show!
 

Angela Channing

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The first 10 events that I can think of that "have had the most impact on you personally? And why?"

1. Brexit and the rise in xenophobia that has happened in the UK since the referendum result. Last year was the first time since I was at school that I was told by someone to "go back to my own country". Excuse me, this is my country, I was born here and spent all my life here!

2. The Good Friday Agreement in Northern Ireland. As a young boy I remember the news being dominated by stories of bombs and shootings in Northern Ireland and on more than one occasion, I was caught up in the aftermath of bombs or bomb scares in London. I can't imagine what it must have been like living in Northern Ireland during that period. Peace in that region is something precious and shouldn't be taken for granted. Don't forget that Mrs May.

3. The release of Nelson Mandela and ending of apartheid in South Africa. Since I was in junior school I was campaigning against apartheid and boycotting South African goods. On many occasions I protested in Trafalgar Square outside South Africa House so I experienced great joy when that evil regime came to an end.

4. The end on the Conservative rule in the UK in 1997 when John Major's government was defeated by Tony Blair. I went though almost all of my education during the Thatcher/Major years and have memories of sharing text books at school between 3 people while the rich children were ok because their parents could afford to by their own books. During this time the government were cutting school budgets (amongst other things) to fund tax cuts for the rich people and corporations. My disgust with Conservative government wickedness started as a result and I've been a committed socialist ever since.

5. Billie Jean King coming out as being gay. I was about 8 when this happened. I always watched Wimbledon on TV and became a big fan of this brash American player called Billie Jean King. When she was enveloped in a scandal that she had a lesbian affair which forced her to come out, I didn't even know what being gay meant but I knew it didn't change how I felt about her as a tennis player. That single event and my response to it shaped my lifelong support for LGBT rights.

6. The 9/11 terrorist attack. The impact of the horror of the event was unlike any we had ever seen before and one of the few news events that brought me to tears. On a more personal level, it made me want to understand more about Islam and religions beyond my own Christianity because I couldn't accept that such a horrific act could be done in the name of a religion. I was surprised to discover how many similarities there are between many of the major religions and my own and I've met some great people along the way.

7. The death of Diana, Princess of Wales. Not only was it shocking but the way the Royal Family reacted to it made me realise how weird and outdated is the whole concept of monarchy. It lead me to believe we should chose our head of state not have someone born to that position.

8. The Tiananmen Square protests and subsequent massacre. The image of that brave protester standing in front of a tank to stop to moving forward is one of the most power images of individual resistance I have ever seen. I've taken part in many protests and when people tell me I'm wasting my time I remember that man I think how much his individual protest raised world awareness of the brutality of the Chinese regime.

9. The fall of the Berlin Wall and the reunification of Germany. The East and West Germany coming together to form a unified country. Some people in West Germany were worried that the relative poverty of East Germany would depress the West German economy. In reality it just made the country stronger, both politically and economically. A real life metaphor for my belief that people coming together is better than things that separate them.

10. Arsenal winning the Premier League in the 1997-98 season. Ok, not a world event but as an Arsenal fan since I was 5 it had a big impacted on me personally and it was near the beginning of the Arsine Wenger and he arguably changed English football more than anyone else in recent times.
 

Michelle Stevens

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Not really a singular event per se, but the advance in technology with the rise of the internet.
 

Mo Mouse

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Nelson Mandella being offered the chance of freedom as long as he renounced his beliefs and he refused, saying that he would stay in prison. The only person I have ever admired.
 
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