Events for July 6
1976 Tuesday - First women's class enters West Point.
1983 Supreme Court rules that women cannot be paid less in their retirement plans.
2005 IOC awards the 2012 Summer Olympic Games to London.
It has happened a few times in our history where two major events happened just a few days apart. On Sunday April 9, 1865 Generals Lee and Grant sat down at Appomattox Court House in Virginia and signed the cease fire agreement ending the civil war. Then five days later on Friday April 14 Lincoln was shot. Although "Hardly a man is now alive" that remembers that famous week and year. Most people now remember Princess Diana's death on Sunday August 31, 1997. Many Americans learned of it that night before while it was still Saturday August 30 our time. Then five days later on Friday September 5 Mother Theresa died.
Sometimes flashbulb memories come at the same time and the intensity can affect people's performances. On Sunday January 25, 1981 there was an announcement during the pre game of the Super Bowl that the hostages had just landed back on American soil, and a ceremony was held at the stadium which delayed the start of the game. Some of the Philadelphia Eagle's players said later that that affected their readiness to play, and used it as the excuse for losing to the Oakland Raiders.
Flashbulb memories can condense with people's personal lives too, particularly if it is a combination of a good memory and a bad memory. A friend of mine settled on his dream home on Tuesday December 29, 1992. Then a few days later on Thursday January 7, 1993 his father died.
Most people will remember that Prince William and Kate Middleton's wedding was about the same time as the day Bin Laden was killed. However, if the events had been more than a month apart people would be less likely to make the connection. The further apart the events were the less likely people will remember them together. This is because people link up where they were on the days it happened. The further time lapse the more likely that people will be in a different circumstance.
In tomorrow's blog we will learn more about how people link things together and how you can use that tendency to improve your memory.