What was the first historical event you can remember living through? What specifically do you remember about it?
I’ll go first. I was five years old. It was the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr… The specific thing I remember is driving in Chicago with our headlights on in the daytime. I asked my dad why we were doing that. He told me we were honoring a good man who had just died. For some reason that small exchange with my dad in the car always stuck with me.
Well that, and his funeral pre-empting my cartoon shows. I was quite upset about that.
Moon landing 1969. I was almost 7 and wish I had more of a grasp on the actual event. Still I remember it being quite important. The next after that was the breakup of The Beatles: headline news everywhere,
Apollo 11. I was four, and I vaugely remember putting together a cardboard model of the LEM and command module while watching the astronauts on TV.
The one that made the most impact though was when I was nine. I remember jumping our bikes on ramps made of bags of newspapers that we were saving for recycling. One of the bags split open, and the headline on the paper on top read “NIXON RESIGNS.”
I remember watching the first Gulf War on TV. (That sounds really really odd.) There was a video of an American soldier with a machine gun in a bunker-like-thing made of sandbags with barbed wire around it. I remember modeling it with the plastic army men I was playing with at the time.
Beatles visit to Australia in June 1964. I was 4. I remember the 'rents and their friends sitting around an old-fashioned TV watching it all unfold on the TV news, and hearing them discuss it earnestly, and thinking it must be important.
Interestingly, I don’t recall the JFK thing less than a year earlier, yet I have other memories from when I was 3 (such as my sister being born). No doubt there are intellectual developmental milestones involved that allow you to recognise the outside world at around that age.
The moon landing. I was three. My parents made me watch it. I remember it pretty well. I didn’t see what the big deal was. I saw spaceships landing on other planets all the time on Star Trek and Lost In Space.
Like Kyrie Elaison said, I remember the watergate hearings on tv. I was born in 1969, but I remember this really boring talk thing that came on after Captian Kangaroo. I cannot pinpoint exactly when these hearings were on, so maybe that doesn’t count.
I am, however Canadian, and I do have a clear memory of this hockey game. I would have just turned 3 at this time.
I was in second grade on Nov. 22, 1963. I think they made an announcement over the P.A. that the president had been shot. I don’t remember it specifically, but I remember leaving the school that day knowing that he was dead.
I remember the campaign, and seeing the conventions on TV. I was all set to vote for Stevenson, until they told me kids can’t vote.
I also remember my mother letting me stay home from school to watch Elizabeth II’s coronation, because it was something I would “never forget.” She was right. And fifty years later I finally went to London and saw the gold coach the Queen had ridden in . . . and is only used for a Coronation.