Historical events

Historical Events: Footnotes in Personal History | Select

Along with its changing temperatures and leaf colors, fall brings something more important, at least to me: a number of family birthdays. In particular, fall brings the birthdays of my two children, one of whom just turned 29 and the other will turn 26 this weekend.

For a long time after my children had left home to begin their adult lives, it seemed almost surreal to me that they kept getting older every year, as if time had to stand still for them – and, perhaps… to be more precisely, for me. . A wishful thinking, perhaps.

I think their aging was surreal because the memories of their early years have always been so strong. Nevertheless, these memories are selective – they are strictly child-centric. I don’t really remember what happened outside of being a mother and spending time with the kids. In other words, I have no real memory of the world.

I marvel at people who can think back to a certain time and say, “Oh, do you remember the terrible fire in (insert year)? or “Wow, it was a really bad blizzard in (insert year) – we lost power for five days!” Or “I never thought we would survive the gasoline shortage in (insert year).”

Our world today seems so full of big and important news, including inflation and a likely recession in gas prices, the war in Ukraine, school shootings, and supply chain issues. . Has the world always been so full of significant events? With my children’s birthdays in mind, I started to think back to what really happened around the world during those years when I was just focusing on all things baby.

I couldn’t quite identify anything and had to go online and search 1993 and 1996 to see what happened in the years my children were born.

The year 1993 saw Czechoslovakia split into the Czech Republic and Slovakia, with Slovakia gaining independence. Less peacefully, in the United States, the attack on the World Trade Center and the siege of Waco took place. Two of the four police officers involved in the brutal treatment of Rodney King were convicted in a federal criminal trial for violating King’s civil rights, a welcome but arguably disappointing epilogue to the 1992 state court acquittal that led to riots in the streets.

Thurgood Marshall, the first black Supreme Court justice, has died. 1993 also saw the end of the iconic Sears catalog. In happier news, for collectors and, more so, for Ty Inc., Beanie Babies were introduced, sparking a collector craze that lasted until 2000.

1996 was no less eventful. TWA Flight 800 exploded and crashed near New York, killing all 230 people on board. In other death news that has captivated media consumers, 6-year-old child model JonBenét Ramsey has been murdered. A famous birth also took place: Dolly the sheep, the first cloned mammal, was born in Scotland. And perhaps one of the most famous divorces in the world happened – that of Prince Charles (now King Charles) and Princess Diana. In the world of sports, athletic powerhouse Tiger Woods began his debut on the PGA Tour professionally. In the world of entertainment, the first episode of the television series “Arthur” has aired.

After researching the years 1993 and 1996, I could certainly remember some of these events, but, again, I could never have placed them specifically in the years my children were born. These are important historical events – but no more important than first teeth, first words and first steps.

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