What's the Earliest Historical Event You Can Personally Remember?

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.

Anyone else?

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,

Reagan getting shot. I was sitting in our rec room playing Donkey Kong on my Colecovision.

Watergate. Coverage of the congressional hearings interfered with my anticipated viewing of children’s shows. You bastards!

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.

Like Leaffan, mine is the moon landing in 1969. I was five. At lunchtime we all got farmed out from school to the families that had televisions so that we could watch it.

US Bicentennial - I can remember the town hall ringing all the bells.

The Tylenol murders in 1982. I was five.

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.

Sputnik, probably, which happened when I was six. Can’t say I remember much about it except that I thought having an artificial moon was really cool.

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.

Skylab coming down. We went out on the oval nearby to see if we could see bits of it falling out of the sky (we didn’t)

That was in 1979, when I was 9.

Off the top of my head, I remember STS-95, John Glenn going back into space. This was very important for some reason, a very, very vivid memory to me. I would’ve been 8 at the time.

I’m sure I have earlier memories of historic events, but none pop to the top of my head. What important happened between '93 and '98 that I might remember?

Mount Pinatubo erupting was the first event I have any memory of. The first event I remember in great detail was the Oklahoma City bombing.

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.

Dwight Eisenhower’s election in 1952. I was 5.

I was also in the second grade that day. I remember the teachers were crying and we were standing in line because school was being let out early. There was a sense of fear and urgency.

Eric S. was peeing his pants and the pee was running across the wood floor of our school room. I can see it in my mind as clear as day.

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.