I stand before you a Generation Xer, unable to live without an internet connection and can remember when mobile phones were the size of bricks. I am the child of a true Baby Boomer, she born in 1946 after my grandfather came back from WW2 and I in 1974, a child of ever changing technology and moments of incredible sadness and joy.
There maybe not a moon landing for us to pin down our generation(s) but there are many other moments that history will help us to define Generation X, Y, Z and possibly I.
These are events that have taken place all over the world and for differing reasons from politics, hate, love, sorrow to the unfathomable. They are moments we stood in awe or horror at the events that unfolded before us. My Generation has been influenced by the power of the media more than my parents or my grandparents. My mother can remember where she was when Kennedy was shot but I can find footage of 9/11 on youtube. I can not remember where I was when those tanks rolled into Tiananmen Square but I remember that student standing in front of the tank and the icy gut later when he was shot. I remember when Princess Di was killed, the first news being on the radio and her arm was broken, the full impact was felt watching that funeral broadcast live, even in Australia. I would have never thought one woman could touch so many people. I sat on the Sydney Opera House floor and cheered Cathy Freeman on, shouting and hollering for her to break that line, surrounded by other Australians doing the same thing, then we filed into the concert. The global reach of these events become more apparent as technology surges ahead in leaps and bounds. I had no idea that there had been blasts in London, on 7/7/2005, my brother had seen it on the news in Australia and texted me, even though I had been evacuated out of the underground that morning.
There maybe no moon landing but as technology grows, more events will touch our lives, and change us in subtle and unsubtle ways. I hope we are wise enough to learn from this.
Invasion of Afghanistan by the USSR
End of IRA conflict in Northern Ireland
Break up of Yugoslavia
Operation Desert Storm invasion of Iraq.
Operation Enduring Freedom invasion of Afghanistan
Operation Iraqi Freedom invasion of Iraq
Fall of the Berlin Wall 1989
Break up of the USSR
Split of Czechoslovakia 1993
Handing over of Hong Kong 1997
- John Lennon
- murdered 1980
- River Phoenix
- drug overdose 1993
- Kurt Cobain
- suicide 1994
- Yitzhak Rabin
- assassinated 1995
- Mother Teresa
- died of old age 1997
- Michael Hutchence
- suicide 1997
- Diana, Princess of Wales
- car accident 1997
- Paula Yates
- drug overdose 2000
- John Peel
- Heart attack 2004
- Steve Irwin
- accidental death 2007
- Benazir Bhutto
- assassinated 2007
- Heath Ledger
- overdose 2008
- Lady Diana Spencer and Prince of Wales
- 29 July 1981
- Same-sex marriage
- The Netherlands was the first country legalise same-sex marriage in 2001. Other countires that have followed suit are Belgium, Spain, Canada and South Africa.
Dolly the Sheep b1996-d2003
- Sinking of the Rainbow Warrior
- New Zealand, 1985,
- Lockerbie bombing/aircrash
- Scotland, 1988.
- World Trade Centre bombing
- America, 1993
- Oklahoma City bombing
- America, 1995
- Sarin Gas Attack
- Japan, 1995
- America, 2001
- Bali Bombing
- Indonesia, 2002
- Madrid Train bombings
- Spain, 2004
- London Tube Bombings
- England, 2005
- Sir Steven Redgrave
- Won five Olympic gold medals at five consecutive Olympic games.
- Lance Armstrong
- A cancer survivor who won the Tour de France five times.
- Cathy Freeman
- Australian aboriginal runner winning a gold at the Sydney Olympics 2000.
- Michael Johnson
- Broke 2 world running records in the Atlanta Olympics.
- Greg Louganis
- A diver who split head on the diving board at the Seoul Olympics, 1988, came out as gay, 1994 and later confirmed his HIV status, 1995.
- Ervin ‘Magic’ Johnson
- Announced he is HIV positive, 1991.
- Fred and Rosemary West
- England, serial killers, convicted 1995.
- Dunblane Massacre
- Scotland, mass shooting, 1996
- OJ Simpson trial
- aquitted of murder, 1995
- Port Arthur Massacre
- Australia, mass shooting 1996.
- Backpacker Murders
- Australia, Ivan Milat convicted 1996
- Harold Shipman
- England, serial killer, convicted 1998
- Columbine High School shootings
- America, mass shooting 1999
- Kidnapping of Madeleine McCann
- Portugal, unsolved 2007
- Famine in Ethiopia
- Chernobyl disaster
- USSR, 1986
- Wall Street Crash
- Challenger Disaster
- American space shuttle blows up after take off killing all on board, 1987
- Tiananmen Square Massacre
- Nelson Mandela released,
- Release of Terry Waite and other Lebanese hostages.
- Held from 1987 to 1991
- Rodney King beating,
- America, 1991
- Waco, Texas
- America, after a 51 day seige, 76 members of the Branch Davidians died in a fire, 1993
- End of Apartheid Era in South Africa,
- The first free elections held, 1994
- Kobe earthquake
- 6279 lives lost Japan, 1994
- .com bubble
- bursts in roughly 2001, recession follows.
- Columbia Disaster
- American space shuttle breaks up on re-entry killing all on board, 2003
- Capture of Saddam Hussein
- Found hiding underground and turned into a media circus, 2003
- 230,200 (approx) lives lost and a staggering 1.69 million people displaced, 26th of December 2004
- Hurricane Katrina
- America, 1800(approx) lives lost and billions of dollars of damage, 2005
- Fidel Castro
- Steps down from the leadership of Cuba, 2008
- Barack Obama is elected president of the United States of America.
The Star Wars Saga (all six as they mean different things to different generations)
The Satanic Verses by Rushdie
Harry Potter series
Technology is hard to pin down, there have been so many innovations but many of them have matured over time so it hard to pin point a date. We have gone from the first IVF baby (1978) to the first cloned sheep (1996), the first bionic ear was implanted in 1978 and the first face transplant 2005. This is just a selection of medical mile stones that have occurred. The concept of listing all the others from renewable energy to Mars rover is just a little more than I could handle.
We are surrounded by technology that my grandparents would be astounded by. I feel mentioning the internet is important because without it we would not be reading this and the post 1996 children would not be known as Generation I. We may not have noticed it really in 1989 when the World Wide Web first appeared or in 1990 Tim Berners-Lee released the first "WorldWideWeb browser" and the server for it but possibly the internet has had a bigger impact than a moon landing?
Events that have the potential of being great moments:
Death of Queen Elizabeth II
Death of Nelson Mandela
Capture or Death of Osama Bin Laden
Middle East Peace
End of President Mugabe of Zimbabwe’s rule.
Please note this in not a definitive list, it will ebb and flow just as history does.
Thank you to the following people: The debutante, rootbeer277, strawberryfrog, DejaMorgana, and TenMinJoe for their valuable suggestions.