30 years ago:
I remember where I was that morning:
I was in a friends apartment when over the radio the local DJs (Bob and Tom, actually) said dead flat: “The space shuttle Challenger blew up on takeoff”.
I said to him:
“That isn’t something to joke about”.
We turned on the TV and saw the news reports.
I watched it from my back yard, in Melbourne, FL. I, like many FL residents, had seen 6 or 7 launches by that time.
I knew this one didn't look right, so I rushed in to see what the "experts" on TV were saying. They were all looking up, scratching their heads, and saying "Gee, that doesn't look right"…