The most memorable TV moments of the last 50 years

The most impactful television events of the last 50 years, as measured in a survey conducted by Nielsen and Sony Electronics. The rankings are based on a questionnaire of consumers about events they had watched, if they remember where they were and if they discussed the events with others.

1. Sept. 11 terrorist attacks (2001).

2. Hurricane Katrina (2005).

3. The O.J. Simpson verdict (1995).

4. The Challenger space shuttle explodes (1986).

5. Death of Osama bin Laden (2011).

6. The O.J. Simpson White Bronco chase (1994).

7. The Japanese earthquake and tsunami (2011).

8. Columbine school shooting (1999).

9. BP oil spill in Gulf of Mexico (2010).

10. Princess Diana’s funeral (1997).

11. Death of Whitney Houston (2012).

12. Capture and execution of Saddam Hussein (2006).

13. Barack Obama Election Night speech (2008)

14. Wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton (2011).

15. John F. Kennedy assassination (1963).

16. Oklahoma City bombing (1995).

17. Bush/Gore disputed election (2000).

18. Los Angeles riots, Rodney King beating (1992).

19. Casey Anthony murder trial verdict (2011).

20. John F. Kennedy funeral (1963).

I have quite a bit of disagreement with this one.

The first one is a gimme, but I would put the JFK assassination at number two. Why is Rodney King beating and the LA riots one event? They happened a year apart. So did the OJ chase and verdict but they are split into two events.

I would dump the deaths of Osama, Saddam and Whitney, along with Casey Anthony, Princess Di’s funeral as well as Will and Kate’s wedding. The BP oil spill was news but it really wasn’t a television event. Obama’s election night speech? Puh-leeze.

Where is the Loma Prieta earthquake? The attempted assassination of Reagan? MLK’s “I have a dream” speech? The wedding of Charles and Diana? The Iranian hostage crisis? Gulf Wars I & II? Vietnam? The first moon landing? Watergate and the resignation of Richard Nixon? The fall of the Berlin Wall? Monica and Bill?

If you’re going to include celebrity deaths, what about Michael Jackson and Anna Nicole Smith? If Casey Anthony makes the list, why not Scott Peterson? Where is the final episode of Lost?

What do you think? This is an open thread.

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22 Responses to Memories

  1. Oswald says:

    What about Wrestlemania?

  2. Oswald says:

    Wolf Blitzer rips Obama for skipping NAACP convention:

  3. yttik says:

    They must have surveyed older people because I haven’t found many 20 yr olds that even know who JFK, Bill Clinton, or OJ Simpson are.

  4. jeffhas says:

    “In my opinion”… ??…. I thought Wolf Blitzer was an impartial journalist/News Anchor?

    so all this time he’s really been a commentator? what a surprise.

  5. cj says:

    Bad memories and as luck would have it, I was home watching live for most of them. I’d say the JFK assasination, the moon landing and the 9/11 attack should be the top 3.

  6. elliesmom says:

    I don’t think they actually surveyed many people who were old enough to really remember the events of the last 50 years. It’s like no one who teaches seniors in high school ever makes Teacher of the Year because 75% of the kids don’t even know who you are.

  7. carol haka says:

    More people watched Sarah Palin than the faux Greek column event.

    1. 9/11
    2. 2000 Election
    3. Oklahoma Bombing
    4. Columbine
    4. Deaths of JFK, Princess Diana, Michael Jackson, Anna Nicole Smith
    5. OJ
    6. Katrina, Tsunami, Japan

    Being an ex-Flight Attendant – all of the major accidents over the

    Bombing of the Atlanta Olympics?

  8. katiebird says:

    One reporter accidentally let something slip. That when they “separated women from men” and asked the questions then (from memory) Whitney & Princess Di’s wedding & funeral & other girly events floated to the top.

    Something about it makes me think that’s it a totally manipulated poll. Perhaps done in a mall? How/why could the sometimes separate people and sometimes not?

  9. Glennmcgahee says:

    Remember Shock and Awe! I was a bartender in those days and everybody sat at the bar glued to the set watching our embedded media report and show the spectacular fireworks created for the audience as we invaded Iraq.

  10. djmm says:

    What about Lee Harvey Oswald being shot on live TV?

    Not to mention “Who Shot JR?”


  11. SWPAnnA says:

    During the JFK funeral coverage, the murder of Lee Harvey Oswald, live on television. I heard my father shout “Oh! My God!” from the other room and had never heard such emotion from him in my entire life.

  12. SWPAnnA says:

    1971 the first World Series game scheduled, broadcast at night from Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh.

  13. SWPAnnA says:

    The Beatles on Ed Sullivan’s Show.

  14. kanaughty says:

    And where is mt st helens? The wall coming down is something i remember from high school. Challenger was a huge deal too so i agree with that very sad 😦 but i personally don’t give a rip about casey anthony, how does that get on a list with katrina, japan tsunami and 9/11, weird. I totally agree with some of the ones the poster added like iran hostage, also wasn’t the israel team getting taken hostage a big deal too? It disrupted and made sad an event that was supposed to be about friendship between nations. Personally any debate with hillary in it was also not to be missed by myself too, i was watching pure genius up on those stages amongst a bunch of dopes.

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