Having memories pre-9/11

I concur, although I also admire his or her bravery.

I vaguely remember the gulf war when I’d have been four and a halfish.

My son’s one of those kids - 18 year old college freshman.

It’s almost certainly his first flashbulb memory - he was 3 and asleep when my wife I and were watching SNL and learned that Lady Di died.

But he remembers lots of stuff from before that day.

My earliest memory of anything “newsworthy” was Charles and Diana’s wedding, two months before I turned five. 9/11 was a far more significant event with an enormous emotional impact. I think many young children would have a memory of it because of the highly unusual way the adults around them reacted to it. We were glued to the footage over here, and we were fearful of what was to come, and we were shaken and tearful about the destruction and loss of life - and we’re half a planet away. 9/11 was inescapable for weeks. Children younger than 7 would certainly remember this event.

A few years ago I went back to university, a little older than the 18-year-olds I was studying with. The first day I met some new people, incl one girl who said she was from Kosovo. One of the others asked her when & why she came to the UK. I thought it was rather ignorant and a little rude to ask, as I thought it was pretty obvious (also from other comments she had made). Then I realised they had no idea. They would have been 8 at the time, and apparently it hadn’t registered. It was strange, the whole time they knew her, they never realised her background.

I think the first big event I remember was the Berlin wall coming down. I remember my parents watching telly, on the sofa, the excitement. I didn’t really understand, it was just the vibe. ETA: I also remember my dad explaining it to me, and that it meant a lot to him. Can’t remember the explanation, or if I had any idea what he was on about.

This is inappropriate in this thread. People are talking about early childhood memories, not the ultimate significance of 9/11.

You are of course welcome to start your own thread, in GD or the Pit depending on your level of vitriol. In this thread, you’re out of line.

No warning issued.

twickster, MPSIMS moderator

I was born in early 1972 and have some memories of the news aboutCyclone Tracy taking out Darwin on Christmas Day 1974. I still remember the newspaper cinema ads for Jaws (release in Australian in late Nov. '75). :slight_smile:

My sisters’ kids were all born 1988 or after so they have no recollection of the Cold War world I grew up in or the significance of the Berlin Wall coming down.

The first memory I have that I can pin a time on is coming out of my room for a drink of water late at night and finding my parents playing The Legend of Zelda on a small portable TV in the kitchen. We had gotten a Nintendo console for Christmas, and that was the game they got to play on it – in retrospect, since we kids were camped in the living room with them during the day, they were playing through the dungeons at night so there would be less pointless, frustrated faffery while we were watching. I would have been 5-6.

I remember being up slightly too late when the first Gulf War broke out. I think my parents forgot to send me to bed – they were both born in the 1950s and my father narrowly missed getting drafted for Vietnam, so they were probably both scared shitless. I remember the news channel we were watching (network, no cable then) at one point lost the choppy QuickTime video feed and ran the report as a voiceover over this yellow-colored map of a country I’d never seen before. I was not really quite aware of what was going on, but I do recall very clearly thinking, “Someday this is going to be in a history book.” I would have been 10-11, I think.

I was in high school when the OJ Simpson trial happened. The verdict was handed down during class hours; our high school had an external cable feed and TVs in most of the rooms, and all the teachers were watching so raptly during our passing period that when the earlier class let out we probably could have set the place on fire and no one would have noticed for a good half-hour. The adults all behaved as if one man’s acquittal or conviction were something of earth-shattering importance. A friend in my chemistry class took the opportunity to palm half a roll of magnesium ribbon for later fun.

I was in college on 9/11/01. It happened to be on a day where I had class, class, class, work, class, so I was either in lecture or in transit the entire day, and away from TVs and radios. I had no idea anything had happened until about 5pm, when I went to my last lab and found it canceled. I had to get all the way back to the dormitory and find my roommate glued to CNN before I knew anything about it.

I managed to (intentionally, to keep my anxiety down) miss the entire run up to the second Gulf War until it actually officially began. I was in an airplane over the Rockies and the bastard pilot decided to end my streak of blissful ignorance by sharing the news with us over the intercom. When I landed, I found my entire family waiting for me at the airport, my sister hysterical and hyperventilating over the idea that a war in the Middle East would somehow translate into someone shooting down the completely insignificant passenger flight I had boarded on the other side of the planet. I hadn’t really thought about it until then, but after that I kind of quit sleeping. Thanks a lot, sis.

My earliest memories are probably of playing with our family dog at the time. I must’ve been…four or so?

The first stuff that I really remember about the news was probably the Monica Lewinsky scandal, O.J Simpson, and early news of the Jon Benet Ramsey tragedy.

For the record, I was nine when 9/11 happened–just at the start of fourth grade. I remember them saying they’d told the kindergartners what had happened, but us fourth graders didn’t find out til we went home. I wonder what sorts of memories the kindergartners have nowadays.

My earliest memories are from three years old. I moved countries somewhere around turning four. Well, technically not countries, but Scotland to Northern Ireland.

I think the earliest memory of a media/news event is more relevant to this discussion. I mean, my first personal memory is apparently from when I was around six months old (so ~1979), but I don’t remember the Falklands War in 1982 or Bob Hawke being elected in 1983.

My first memory of a news event is Australia winning the America’s Cup in September '83, when I was five. It seems to be around that age that you start to realise that the whole world is in a constant state of flux.

Even though many people do have memories from a much earlier age, they are usually small, personal memories. Children don’t have much of a sense of the wider society until they start school.

I was also born in '78, but I don’t remember the Challenger disaster. I have many personal memories before that, but the first national news story I distinctly remember for sure was the Bush-Dukakis campaign.

Wow, I find that kind of amazing. I’m another one born in '78, and the story of the teacher blowing up while her students watched seemed very noteworthy at the time, especially to kids our age. I also remember the “Need Another Seven Astronauts” joke being told on the playground.

I’m not doubting you or knocking you–I just find it interesting.

I have lots of memories from before I was seven. I don’t remember being aware at the time of specific events like the O.J. Simpson trial (although my mom told me I picked up the word “sequester” around then) but I certainly remember my friends, school, where I lived, family stuff, etc.

I was in second grade when Princess Diana and Mother Teresa died. I very vaguely recall discussing it with my friend/neighbor and I remember my school had an assembly where my teacher told us about the two “amazing women” who had died (those may not have been her exact words, but I remember a lot of emphasis was placed on the fact that they were women who’d made an impact on the world).

I remember Columbine and Monica Lewinsky- I was in 4th grade and we were banned from bringing in stories about her for our current events unit. Also recall Kosovo and my dad asking me if I was scared (I said no).

I was 12 when Sept. 11th happened and while I very vividly recall the events of the day, it feels like something that happened to somebody else. I went to school outside of DC- maybe teachers didn’t want to scare kids because of our proximity of the capital, but what happened was essentially not addressed at all. At the time my history teacher discussed the historical significance of it, but it was never discussed again in a middle school or high school classroom of mine aside from a brief remembrance video we were shown two years later in 9th grade or maybe a brief mention in a political context. My parents spent the day watching TV and my mom mentioned that she’d known someone who died and her father knew people as well, but that was it.

I don’t recall anyone I knew being particularly concerned about the war in Iraq when it began although I was factually aware of what was going on. We were 14 and starting high school- I suppose it sounds selfish, but we were concerned with our personal lives and didn’t really get involved in politics/understand the mess that was made of that until junior/senior year of high school. Some girl during a meeting with a counselor in 8th grade about expectations for high school did raise her hand and ask if we were going to war, but I think she wanted factual answers and the counselor just told us matter of factly what was going on.

My earliest memories of things in the news are from when I was 6. They include the Profumo affair, there was a continual buzz on the radio and tv about the whereabouts of Christine Keeler and I remember asking Mum what she had done. After that came the election (following the downfall of the goverment caused by said Profumo Affair) I was very aware that Harold Wilson’s Labour party won as my dad voted for him and had a big row with the rest of his family about it.

That was the year President Kennedy was assassinated and I have very clear memories of that day. I know that I was aware of the Vietnam war and the protests against it too.

I also have memories of trouble at a CND march but I can’t pinpoint the year. Police were dragging away protesters who were sat on the ground. The whole thing puzzled me so I asked Mum whether they were bad people. The reporters didn’t seem to think so but surely the police only arrested criminals…

As to 911 I know that my friends daughter, six at the time, was aware that it had happened. She was worried that her mum was working in a tower block as she thought it might be a target.

Wow, it’s weird to think that if my first memory was of me being 8 years old, I would have no memory at all of my parents being married. I have tons of memories from ages 3-7, I remember some of those times very clearly.

I was barely born in '78 (my birthday is in December.) You were probably a year ahead of me in school. I was probably vaguely aware of it when it happened, but I’ve never heard that joke.

Fair enough. I was one of the youngest in my year at school–most of my peers were born in '77–so that does make sense.

My earliest memory that I can put an actual date to was at age 5. A historic event I saw on TV with my parents. But I have distinct memories of ages 3 and/or 4.

I have memories of the Watergate hearings coming on TV right after Captian Kangaroo. That meant it was time to turn off the tv and torment my aunt’s cat. I stopped going to my aunt’s place in April of 1973, so this was before then. I wouldn’t be 4 until September. That is my earliest world event memory.

I remember playing in the neighbour’s playhouse the summer of 1972. That would be before my 3rd birthday. I also have vauge memories of being in Disney World and Florida in late 1971, but they are mostly limited to visual and textural memories, and of course stupid things like being fascinated by the tanlines from my sandals and paper wrapped straws. I have one memory of being scared of Goofy, which is the sum total of my Disney memory.

I started following current events on a regular from the age of 7 when we moved up north and only got CBC television.

As for 9/11/2001 of course I remember it vividly. Among many other things it is the only week of my life that I have actually spent ironing clothes, sewing hems and rips, matching every sock in the house, filing all my papers, sorting my CD collection… anything I could do and still watch tv at the time.