Snapshot Event

Tuesday, January 20th, 2009 by Cass Chappell, CFP®


I turn 35 in less than a month.  To me, the significance of an event can be judged by whether one remembers where they were when the event occurred.  “Snapshot Events” (as I call them), the ones which will forever be burned into our memory, vary by impact (tragedy or triumph) and by relative importance (the “grand scheme of things”).

I frequently ask people if they remember where they were when certain events occurred.  Most of the events on my list (below) are obvious, having the effect of time-stamping a particular era in our personal histories.   The car we were driving, the TV we saw the event on, who was in the room, the time of day, what we did immediately AFTER the event….it all quickly comes back as we recount the stories.                      

Regardless of your political affiliation, the swearing in of Barack Obama will be one of the most memorable events of our lifetime.  To say that it means different things to different people is a dramatic understatement.  The social and political effects of this are far beyond the scope of our blog. 

I spent most of my time on CNN today.  One of the hosts said that this may eclipse the final episode of M*A*S*H as the most watched event in the history of television.  Oddly enough, this final episode was aired on February 28, 1983 and I have NO IDEA where I was or what I was doing when this happened (I would have just turned 9, but as some of you know, I was an AVID watcher of 80’s TV shows).


No disrespect to M*A*S*H, but I sincerely hope that today’s events eclipse the record.

My list is below.   I must emphasize that this list doesn’t begin until the early 80’s (my earliest memories) and that some of these events are not very important, although most are.

  • Ronald Reagan shot
  • The first space shuttle blows up
  • Death of Len Bias
  • San Francisco earthquake
  • Buster Douglas knocks out Mike Tyson
  • The beginning of the first gulf war
  • O.J. and the bronco
  • O.J. verdict
  • 1996 Olympic Bomber
  • Princess Diana dies
  • 9/11
  • Barack Obama inauguration

Send this to a friend

Comments are closed.