"Where were you and what were you doing at...?"
1. JFK's Assassination 22/11/1963
Well, my Mum should have had her U6th Parents' Evening that night, but it got cancelled and she ended up at Bangor, then University College North Wales, or Coleg Prifysgol Gogledd Cymru, reading French and Latin, where she met my Dad and where they are now at a 60s reunion on her birthday.
The rest as they say, is History, which is what my Dad was studying and already at Bangor.
On holiday after my first year at University. Possibly about to go to France.
3. Margaret Thatcher's Resignation 22/11/1990
A student and since I never watched TV in College; 1 Tv for 220 people, it was a bit crowded, heard it all on R4 and remember the coverage going to LW as the 'Archers' started after the 7pm News.
The First Gulf War also happened entirely on Radio for me and that too was broken for the 'Archers.'
4. Princess Diana's Death 31/8/97
On holiday in Graz, Austria. The friend I was staying with came in and said that Diana was dead. I thought, 'Don't be ridiculous and get me some BBC News.' Listened to Blue Danube Radio which had bulletins in English, French and German each giving slightly different details.
Went to Mass in Graz Cathedral where my friend was in the Choir. The Priest was very stunned. Being close to the Slovenian border, they were very interested in her work to do with land mines.
Returned to the UK a few days later to see black edged pictures of her at Vienna Airport. Went out on the Sat afternoon of her funeral to buy the Times for Austrian friend with my Dad to totally empty streets.
5. Attack on Twin Towers 9/11/2001
Teaching. Someone said a plane had crashed. I thought ,'Tragic accident and didn't someone crash into the Empire State Building during WW2?' Then the second one and we knew it was not an accident. A couple of years later a pupil said she'd been in my room when the Headmaster had announced it over the tannoy.
6. Election of Cardinal Ratzinger to the Papacy 19/4/2005
At a Parents' Evening (a Leitmotif, no?) A boy gave me a cup of tea and said that Cardinal Ratzinger had been elected. Exchanged broad smiles with the HoY whose Parents' Evening it was. He wanted to stop the Parents' Evening for a prayer, but our superiors were less keen, so I went and wrote the fact onto the notice board in the entrance hall.
Went home and watched lots of news. Stayed up for Newsnight and saw that discussion with Paxman, Fr Burke and Christina Odone. That one! Noticed that Sky ( who called the Pope the Holy Father, when commentating on his visit to the US. Don't get that on the beeb,) and 1152 News Direct, a commercial London radio station, where so much warmer in their coverage. Like you, the listener might just be a Catholic.
Next morning, bought a paper to cut the picture out to pin on my white board. A family in Fr Tim's Parish had organised to say the Rosary every morining of the Conclave in the Church, so went to that. Had some breakfast that they had very kindly provided and then off to work.
Sent the Pope an e mail.
Only after his election did I read any of his books.