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Thread: The first news story you remember being aware of as a child?

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    Senior Member jp1's Avatar
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    The first news story you remember being aware of as a child?

    A friend on facebook posed this question and I immediately recalled the Patty Hearst trial.

    A bit of backstory. My mother didn't realize (or didn't care) that there was a fresh vegetable aisle at the grocery store. Six days a week we had some sort of canned, boiled vegetable with dinner. It wasn't until i was in my late teens that I learned that veggies could actually be enjoyable.* Until I was 13 or 14 our dinner routine was incredibly consistent. We would eat exactly at 5:30 while watching the local news. At 6:00 we'd be done, except I wouldn't have touched my veggies. Mom would do the dishes and I'd be forced to remain at the table with my now cold uneaten veggies, watching Walter Chronkite. Towards the end of the news Mom would take my plate after she'd finished all the other dishes and I was free to leave the table, not having touched those nasty things. Consequently I developed a lifelong interest in the news and was probably more well informed than virtually all of my elementary school classmates. (Not that I ever went to school and tried to impress my fellow students with my worldly knowledge... )

    When I was in maybe third grade the Patty Hearst bank robbery trial hit the news. OMG! What a cool story! I mean seriously, the villains were some organization called the Symbionese Liberation Army. That name! And these people didn't live vanilla middle class lives like mine. And to top it off they didn't allow cameras in the courtroom so the courtroom sketch artists provided vivid pictures of the proceedings. It was true story telling, like a book with illustrations. Walter would do the reading and I'd watch the pictures of what he was describing. I was riveted. I couldn't wait for the next day's installment to see what happened next.

    *As a protest one time I went to our pantry and peeled the labels off of all the cans of veggies. My intention was to point out how uniformly bad they were. My mother's reaction made clear that I had failed. She found this to be absolutely hilarious and was perfectly fine with us having "mystery vegetables" every night for the next month.

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    Senior Member bae's Avatar
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    I was born in 1963.

    Apollo 7, then Apollo 8. I remember vividly watching the Apollo 8 broadcasts. I later ended up living just down the street here from Bill Anders, who was on the Apollo 8 mission, and I have a print of Earthrise sitting right here that he printed up and signed for me.

    I was a total space program nerd when I was a little kid. I really really wanted to be an astronaut, but the killed the Apollo program before I even made it to middle school. Neil Armstrong lived in a town near mine in Ohio, and he was a local hero to us all.

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    Senior Member jp1's Avatar
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    I was born in 1967. I remember going out into our backyard to look at the ‘spaceship going to the moon’. Not knowing what to look for I didn’t see it and was very frustrated since the rest of my family, including my 4 year older sister, did see it.

    Random aside, my dad was a civilian accountant for the air force for 20-something years before he reitred. I still have an account with the credit union of the Air Force Accounting and Finance Center. The Space Age Federal Credit Union. My Visa card always has a relevant image on it and friends often find that and the name of my financial institution amusing.

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    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    I have to state the obvious for someone who was in 6th grade in 1963--the Kennedy assassination. I was in my Catholic school classroom when the Mother Superior came in and told us to pray for President Kennedy--that he'd been shot. She returned not long after to say that he had died. I remember my friend, Donna O'Brien, putting her head on her desk and crying. I was just shocked.

    I also remember a couple of days later my mother had somewhere to go, and she left us at our babysitter's house. Mrs. Long had a black and white TV and I remember watching the news coverage which of course was on constantly, and watching Lee Harvey Oswald getting shot, live.

    I also remember feeling sad that Jackie Kennedy wasn't going to be the First Lady anymore. She was so pretty and classy. Lady Bird Johnson just couldn't hold a candle.
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
    www.silententry.wordpress.com

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    Perhaps the first news story I can recall was coming back from an August Colorado trip and seeing the newspaper headlines about Marilyn Monroe's death. 1963 maybe? And then JFKs death the day after he drove past our school in San Antonio. My father worked at NASA with the astronauts so all the early missions are part of my memory stream too.

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    Simpleton Alan's Avatar
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    Like Catherine, my first memory of a significant news story had to do with the JFK assassination, although I don't have a clear memory of that November 22nd, 1963 event that isn't jumbled with all the subsequent coverage. What I do have a very clear memory of is 2 days later, on a Sunday morning, watching with my dad when Jack Ruby assassinated Lee Harvey Oswald live on TV. I was in the 4th grade at the time.

    Outside that, the next clear memory of news coverage was a year or two later when Winston Churchill died. I remember thinking that would forever be a significant date in history so I wrote it down in a little notebook so that I would remember the date forever. As it turns out, I didn't.
    "Things should be made as simple as possible, but not one bit simpler." ~ Albert Einstein

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    Senior Member jp1's Avatar
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    Just like those of you remembering JFK I remember much later where I was when I learned that the space shuttle exploded. I was in High school band class senior year and the principal came in and informed us. He said something to the effect of ‘that was the one with the school teacher’.

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    Senior Member Tradd's Avatar
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    I remember two things as they happened on TV. The last moonshot taking off plus Nixon standing on the steps of Marine One doing that big wave after resigning. I was born in Merch 1969.

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    Senior Member rosarugosa's Avatar
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    Little Bitty Bobby will be proud: I remember reading all the stories about the Boston Strangler in the Boston Record American or Boston Herald Traveler, or whatever it was called back then, with horrified fascination. I would have been 5 to 6 years old, so definitely not age-appropriate reading, but my parents never did censor my reading material. I didn't even understand everything I was reading, but I understood the strangling part and that he did bad things to his victims. As an aside, it is only in posting this now that I realize how far back my reader vs. watcher behavior goes, since my earliest memory of a news story is print media and not the TV news.

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    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Because I am the same age as many here, it was JFK assassination.

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