Pop Culture Moments During Natural Disasters + National Tragedies
Some day, maybe 30 years from now, it could be a question on 'Who Wants to Be a Millionaire' or 'Jeopardy' - what movie was showing when James Holmes opened fire in a theater in Aurora, Colorado in 2012, killing 12 people and injuring dozens more? The answer, of course, is 'Batman: The Dark Knight Rises.' It made me think of some other pop culture trivia related to national disasters and tragedies.
When we think about moments in history we usually don't really think about what was happening in pop culture at the time.But, it's interesting to look back and see what was happening in movies and music at particular moments in our history. Maybe this will come in handy some day when you are on a game show with a chance to win $1million.
The nation was shocked when J.F.K. was fatally shot in Dallas one fateful day in November. In movie theaters was the comedy classic It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, featuring the likes of Milton Berle, Sid Caesar, Buddy Hacket, Ethel Murman, and Jonathan Winters. The #1 song in the nation at that time was from Dale and Grace and it was called I'm "Leaving It All Up To You."
A total of 273 people were killed when Flight 191 crashed moments after take off from O'Hare International Airport in Chicago. It's the deadliest aviation accident in the United States. By the way, between 1967 and 2006, a total of five flights numbered 191 crashed. One of the five biggest movies of the year was released on that day, Alien, starring Sigourney Weaver. And, on the billboard charts the #1 song was "Reunited" by Peaches and Herb.
A total of 68 people were killed and there was more than $5 billion in property damage when the 6.9 quake rocked the region during the World Series. The number one song in the nation was "Miss You Much" by Janet Jackson. At the movies, people were going to see The Fabulous Baker Boys starring Jeff Bridges and Michelle Pfeiffer.
It was the worst day ever for the US space program when the space shuttle Challenger exploded shortly after takeoff, killing all seven astronauts on board, including school teacher Christa McAuliffe. Opening that following weekend was the movie Down and Out in Beverly Hills starring Richard Dreyfuss, Bette Midler, and Nick Nolte. The # 1 song in the nation was a collaboration by Dionne Warwick, Stevie Wonder, Elton John, and Gladys Knight called "That's What Friends Are For."
In one of the worst days ever in American history, more than 3,000 people were killed as 19 al-Qaeda terrorists carried out the attacks that brought down the twin towers in New York City. The #1 song in the nation at that time was "I'm Real" by Jennifer Lopez and Ja Rule. At the box office that weekend, the number one movie was The Musketeer.
Hurricane Katrina killed nearly 2000 people while thousands upon thousands lost their homes in one of the worst storms in US History. The #1 song in the country as "We Belong Together" by Mariah Carey. In theaters, people were flocking to see Steve Carell in The Forty Year-Old Virgin.