I was too young at the time to remember the Apollo 1 fire, but I do remember this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_Shuttle_Challenger_disaster
. I was at work when we at the office heard the news over the radio. Not having seen the video, I thought the crew might've been able to cut loose from the booster, or otherwise eject from the shuttle, like the system set up for earlier flights. Sadly, it was not to be.
On a side note, even with all the political pandering from all sides on the subject, I'm hoping it won't be too long before NASA gets back to doing manned flights again. I know it'll be a while, like the gap between Apollo/Soyuz and the shuttle program, but it'd be good to get back into the game.
Back on subject, to think Challenger went down one day after the anniversary of the Apollo 1 fire. Strange but true, indeed. If the Columbia disaster had happened on Jan. 29th, it'd be even more disturbing.