History, versus the past.
By the time I was born, man had set foot on more than one celestial body. I didn’t miss that even by much, but I did miss it. It was history not only before I was aware of it, but before I was born. No matter how small the difference in time between that and Nixon going to China, one is history to *me*, and the other is world events.
*I vaguely remember the end of the Vietnam war, and the televised scenes of evacuation.
*I remember the Apollo and Soyuz spacecraft linking up in space.
*I remember the Freedom Train, which stopped right behind our house, though not much else about the Bicentennial.
*I remember the news of the first test-tube baby.
*I remember Three Mile Island.
*I remember the Iran Hostage Crisis.
*I remember the death of John Lennon.
*I remember AIDS creeping into our consciousness, the launch of MTV, and the Falkland Islands War.
*I remember the breakup of the Bell Telephone Company… and the Doctor Who convention I was able to attend with the proceeds.
*I rememebr Chernobyl, and Iran-Contra, and the explosion of the Challenger.
*I remember a world with a population under 5 billion people.
*I remember the fall of the Soviet Union, and of the Berlin Wall, and Tiananmen Square.
And when I work with or talk to people 25 or younger, it amazes me that they don’t — that they CAN’T — remember any of this. For them, it’s all history.
Like me, and the moon landing.