Here’s more of my WIP on the updated version of my book Making History: how to remember, record, interpret and share the events of your life, to now include the 1990s. Making History is divided into 8 sections, section 5 of which is Crime and Disaster. Here’s a brief sneak preview of this section.
Even if you were not affected by a disaster such as an earthquake, hurricane, airplane crash or car accident, your sense of safety in the world is affected by these happenings. If you have had experience of a disaster, no matter how minor, you will have learned about human nature, and how the bad stuff brings out the best and the worst in people. Crime also affects our sense of safety in the world, even if you don’t work in a justice-related industry, or are not a criminal yourself, or even if you never served on a jury.
A lot of bad stuff happened during the 1990s. Just a few of the happenings include: O.J. Simpson went on trial for the murder of his wife and was acquitted; Matthew Shepard was murdered in Wyoming because he was gay; Jack Kevorkian was charged with homicide because he helped terminally ill patients commit suicide; the Columbine High School massacre in Colorado stunned the nation; child beauty pageant contestant Jonbenet Ramsey was murdered; Lorena Babbitt cut off her husband’s penis; Timothy McVeigh bombed the Federal Building in Oklahoma City, killing and injuring hundreds of people, including children attending day care; the acquittal of police officers accused of beating Rodney King sparked riots in Los Angeles; and too many more to list. Famous disasters of the 1990s included the 1994 Northridge earthquake in Los Angeles and Hurricane Andrew in Florida, along with many more.
Questions to write about: Did you have an opinion on the guilt or innocence of OJ Simpson? Did you think Lorena Bobbitt was justified? Were you a victim of any violent crime? If you lived in LA, do you remember the riots? Do you remember Rodney King saying “can’t we all just get along?” Did you know anyone who was the victim of a senseless or random crime? If you were a parent in the 90s, did the Columbine massacre make you afraid to send your child to school? If you were a teacher did your fear of students increase? Or if you were a student yourself, how did Columbine affect your sense of safety at school? Did you experience a natural disaster or accident during this decade, and do you have a story about courage, compassion, corruption or cowardice from this experience?
If you have a story (or stories) about significant crimes or disasters of the 1990s, please share them, and if you share them on this blog, tell me if I can use them in my upcoming edition of Making History. (I will credit you, of course.)