It seems to me that this day is the Kennedy Assassination of my generation.
Where were you, when you heard that the Challenger blew up? For me, I had just gotten into my first class of the day at high school, English. My teacher told a completely incredulous classroom that the Challenger had blown up. We thought he was making a bad joke. Until he reiterated it, that he had seen the news before coming to school that day, 25 years ago, today.
I remember going home and gluing myself to the TV, switching through the different coverage, looking for news. It was my first real exposure to a shock such as that, at an age when I was able to start to comprehend the horrific nature of 7 people being blown into a fireball.
Today, the shuttle is on its last legs. Only a few more flights into orbit and NASA hangs up the whole programme, with no replacement in the wings. Sad, really.
Here's a photo piece on the Challenger, with a focus on the teacher in space, who didn't quite make it there, Christa McAuliffe. It truly puts a human face on the events of that day.