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Writer's Block: News development

What's the first major news event that you remember hearing about as a child? Where did you learn about it? How did it impact your world view?

The 1973 Presidential election. My whole school had a mock election and, since most of us were either children of Republicans or possibly influenced by the media, we elected Nixon in a landslide. Knowing only my parents' opinion of McGovern was "he's a hippie" (which I understood to be a Very Bad Thing -- never dreaming I would more or less go through my own hippie phase not too many years later), I naturally voted Nixon.

Then came Watergate and the resignation (I was somewhat older before I understood that the Watergate was a hotel, and not something to hold back a river), and I didn't really quite understand why everyone was so mad at Ford when he pardoned Nixon. I was a Ford supporter in the following election, and I think it was the last time I backed a Republican--I was a full-out liberal by the time Reagan came into office.

Reading some of the other responses to this makes me think "My goodness, you kids out there in ElJay land are SO YOUNG!!! *grin*


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 21st, 2010 09:32 pm (UTC)
Here. Let me make you feel young. I remember the run-up to the Kennedy election, though not really the election itself. My official answer has to be the JFK assasination, being in class, another teacher coming in and whispering to my teacher, then my teacher telling the class and all of us being sent home early. (Back in those days, moms didn't work, so the school could do that.) And then the constant TV coverage. I had a pediatrician appointment that afternoon, and it was on in the waiting room the same as at home.
Mar. 22nd, 2010 02:36 am (UTC)
The only history I can give of the Kennedy Assassination is what Mom told me - she and Dad were in the process of moving, and Dad was already in Cheyenne, while she was in Denver packing up the house. Because the radio was packed, Mom didn't hear the news until Dad called her and told her, then said he was coming home to be with her (Dad was a private pilot, and could do stuff like that). It was the only night they were together for something like four months -- and I was born pretty much exactly nine months later (August 21, 1964).

But I am astonished when I see adult folks whose first major political memory is 9/11!
Mar. 22nd, 2010 04:37 am (UTC)
I remember the Apollo 11 moon walk because my mother made me stay up to watch it. I didn't understand what the fuss was about, since the Saturday morning cartoon characters visited the moon all the time.

The first event I really began to understand was the Ford-Carter election, when I predicted that people wouldn't vote for Ford because he was associated with Nixon. It didn't especially affect my world view, which had already started to become cynical. I heard of Watergate, but I didn't get it at the time. (I also thought it was some sort of dam.)
Mar. 22nd, 2010 11:46 pm (UTC)
I didn't use the moon landing because I really WAS too young to understand or remember much, other than some grainy black-and-white footage interrupting important television (I wasn't even four yet, I sometimes wonder if that's even the correct memory).
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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