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anniereborn's avatar

What was the first major news story you remember as a child?

Asked by anniereborn (15511points) February 21st, 2018

I must not have paid any attention to the news. The first story I remember was Reagan being shot. I was 13 at that point. But I honestly can’t recall anything earlier.

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64 Answers

SavoirFaire's avatar

The re-election of Ronald Reagan. I remember asking my father what he was watching, and he said something like “the continuing decay of civilization” (which, to be fair, is how he characterizes every election).

cookieman's avatar

When Elvis Presley died in 1977. I was six.

MrGrimm888's avatar

Only thing I can think of, was the Challenger. I think I was like 8… Surely, there was something earlier, but I can’t remember…

KNOWITALL's avatar

I remember being terrified of nuclear war, must have been late 70’s. And I remember Reagan looked like a grandpa and jelly beans on the Presidents desk,

zenvelo's avatar

The 1960 California Primary. We had all kinds of Kennedy bumperstickers and badges. I was five.

Love_my_doggie's avatar

As clichéd as this may sound, it really was the assassination of JFK. I was age 7.

ragingloli's avatar

Glorpnorp being invaded by the Kriipleplox.

SergeantQueen's avatar

Off the top of my head, Michael Jackson’s death.
I was in the living room when the news about 9/11 happened but I wasn’t even 1 year old so I don’t remember it. Just what I’ve been told.

canidmajor's avatar

I remember vividly the election of JFK (both my parents were staunch Republicans) which was, of course, eclipsed by his assassination and the shooting of Oswald by Ruby. All of that kind of blurs together in my memory.

elbanditoroso's avatar

Russians launching Sputnik and the US going crazy about it.

SergeantQueen's avatar

wow you guys are old

longgone's avatar

9/11. I walked into the room and I remember my grandma saying “This might be scary, but you’ll hear about it in school anyway.”

I was worried about planes flying into our apartment for a long time after that.

chyna's avatar

I remember I was helping my mom dry dishes and my dad hollered for us to come in and watch John Kennedy’s funeral. I was about 5 or 6.

canidmajor's avatar

@SergeantQueen: Yeah, we are! A lot of stuff that you take for granted, we had to be activists to effect that social change.

MrGrimm888's avatar

^SQ Has a great start . She may be more influential than all of us…

I was working as a waiter, when 9/11 happened. We had like one table ALL day. It was a crazy day…

Darth_Algar's avatar

The eruption of Mt. St. Helens.

Mariah's avatar

The Bush-Gore presidential race, when I was 7.

CWOTUS's avatar

I don’t recall Sputnik, but I do recall the launch of John Glenn. Others not so much. (And reading about that later in Tom Wolfe’s excellent ”The Right Stuff” put that into better perspective. The nascent American space program was a generalized disaster, as one after another unmanned rocket blew up on the launch pad or shortly after… and then we put a man on one. Also the concept of ”$20,000,000 of parts put together to form the rocket, with each part supplied by the low bidder” is off-putting.)

Later, of course, and the news story that all of us of my age still recall, the “Where were you when you heard the news?” was the Kennedy assassination (the first one, anyway, in 1963): Fifth grade, Rice School, Holden, Massachusetts.

kritiper's avatar

When the year changed to 1960.

Demosthenes's avatar

I vaguely remember Columbine and the Monica Lewinsky scandal. I didn’t quite understand them (I would’ve been 7–8 when they happened), but I can remember seeing them on the TV when my parents watched the news.

funkdaddy's avatar

Instead of Dukes of Hazzard I had to watch coverage of some guy named Reagan getting elected.

I remember it mainly because I didn’t understand what the word “landslide” had to do with anything and they kept saying it like it was important. I also remember the electoral map they kept updating.

So I went outside and rode my bigwheel. All those flags didn’t mean that much then.

rebbel's avatar

Elvis’ death.

janbb's avatar

The Adlai Stevenson – Eisenhower election. I was in kindergarten and supported Eisenhower because my teacher did; my family was for Stevenson. Probably the last time I “voted” Republican.

BellaB's avatar

Being sent home from kindergarten the day of JFK’s assassination. My mother was out shopping so I sat downstairs with Miss Sills and watched the coverage with her on her little television. We didn’t have a tv in our apartment so I knew more about what had happened than my parents did. Not that I understood much except that Miss Sills couldn’t stop crying.

BellaB's avatar

@Darth_Algar – I was in university at the time of Mt.St. Helens. I remember it well as a nearby roadhouse created an amazing ice cream dessert with that name – lots of ice cream and fudge and graham cracker crumbs and sparklers. Usually took 4 or 5 of us to eat one after wings and beer.

tinyfaery's avatar

The release of the Iran hostages in 1981.

SergeantQueen's avatar

I remember another one: Killing Osama Bin Laden

Kardamom's avatar

Every night, it was constant. The Vietnam War. Then several years later it was Watergate.

Jeruba's avatar

Oh, gosh. War in Korea. I was very young, but I remember hearing my parents talking about it a lot. This was before the election of Eisenhower, which I also remember as a big deal. My parents coached me to say “I like Ike.”

@SergeantQueen, actually those guys aren’t so old.

SergeantQueen's avatar

what do you mean @Jeruba

Soubresaut's avatar

I guess it’s 9/11 for me, too. I remember getting home from school after having heard about it from classmates, and watching it replayed on the news.

I also remember that one of my parents had to get on one of the first available planes in the few days after that. I knew that they would probably be fine, but it didn’t stop my imagination or my fear.

MooCows's avatar

Living in Dallas at 6 years old and remembering John F. Kennedy’s assassination.
We were not allowed to go outside and had to remain quiet. My brother stayed home from school 2 days. It was really quite strange at that age really understanding why everyone was behaving so differently and seeing neighbor’s moms cry for a reason I didn’t quite understand.

Patty_Melt's avatar

@SergeantQueen, look at the chronology of the other events mentioned, compared to when Ike was Prez, and you will see what Jeruba means.

My earliest news memory is also the death of JFK. I was in diapers, and had trouble comprehending, but I remember is fairly clear. I was just looking at happy people on TV waving, then some guy’s important voice. My mom was cleaning my lunch mess, and suddenly she was right in front of the TV screaming no no no and sobbing. I tried to climb into her arms, but she pushed me away. I got pretty freaked out, so she told me a very important man was gone and never would come back. I thought my dad was not coming home.

I remember seeing the news when I was very young, and I remember Church when I was very young. I didn’t understand either one, but both involved men talking to me very serious, so I always paid attention.
I don’t remember any other news stories vividly for some time, just some local accounts of weather damage, or various demonstrations. There were lots of news nights when I was small which included beards, picket signs, and cops.

Dutchess_III's avatar

JFK’s funeral on TV. I was 5. But my 2 year old sister came running into the house behind me, and got the tip of her pinky finger amputated in the hinge side of the door when it snapped shut. So horses pulling his casket is all mixed up with screams and blood.

@Patty_Melt I am so, so sorry. I wish we could all be wiser as parents.

Brian1946's avatar

It was the opening of Disneyland. I think I heard about it from my parents in the summer of 1955, when I was 8.

Zaku's avatar

The manned moon landings and/or Watergate and/or withdrawal of the US from the Vietnam War.

jonsblond's avatar

Like @cookieman, I was six when Elvis died. I was living in Las Vegas watching an episode of Gilligan’s Island when the news scrolled on the television. My mother was a huge fan and was very upset by the news.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

The challenger shuttle disaster.

flutherother's avatar

I remember when the Russians sent Laika the dog into orbit.

johnpowell's avatar

Diane Downs

I’m not sure if that was a national thing at the time. She took the kids to the hospital I was born at. She shot the kids about a mile away from my dads welding and machine shop.

Mimishu1995's avatar

The establishment of East Timor. I was 7 at that time and didn’t understand why people were so interested and the point of it all.

Demosthenes's avatar

^I was 10 and I don’t remember that at all!

I do remember the creation of Montenegro and South Sudan, though.

anniereborn's avatar

So I did some research and find that I DID remember 2 more events before Reagan in 1981.
1978 with the first test tube baby and 1979 with 3 mile island.

Patty_Melt's avatar

3 mile, man, was that a scare!

cookieman's avatar

@Aethelwine: My parents were also really upset about Elvis’ death. They were both big music fans. Dad sang in a blues band and mom was into Motown, but Elvis was ELVIS.

I can’t even imagine the level of reaction in Las Vegas, of all places, at the time.

Aster's avatar

It wasn’t an event but I remember arguing in the schoolyard about Eisenhower and the “I Like Ike” saying and buttons.
I also watched all the Watergate hearings.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

I too remember “I like Ike” !
But before that I recall MacArthur being sent home from Korea by Truman. That was probably because my uncle was a Marine fighting in Korea.

janbb's avatar

^^ “I shall return.”

RocketGuy's avatar

The earliest memory of a news report that I remember is that they were reporting on soldier deaths due to North Vietnam.

dxs's avatar

9/11 came to my mind first, but I also remember all the rage with the turn of the millennium if that counts as news.

Patty_Melt's avatar

Sure it counts as news.
I was a cab driver in 1999. I remember having a repeat customer from out of town. It turned out she was hired to install software in company computer systems to protect against the predicted crashes.

dxs's avatar

Oh, I overlooked the Y2K stuff. That all went over my head when I was 4. What I do remember is all the hype about the upcoming year, about how special it was, but I didn’t know why. I couldn’t even say that big “m” word people kept using to describe it. I spent the changing moment from 1999 to 2000 crying underneath a dining room table because I hated all the noise everyone was making.

I also remember all of my family and friends constantly singing ”In the year 2000…” God I was so bothered by it that I can’t listen to it even today haha.

Patty_Melt's avatar

I remember ‘99 quite well. Talk about getting burned out on a song. Party Like It’s 1999 got waaaaay too much play.

Dutchess_III's avatar

And don’t forget Y2K.

LadyMarissa's avatar

The original Astronauts going into space & returning safe was probably the first major news stories I heard because TVs were brought into our classrooms so we could experience history being made; but the one that made the biggest impact on me was the assassination of John F Kennedy. Like you, I was 13 at the time; but I don’t think it was our age…instead the subject matter.

LadyMarissa's avatar

The first one I remember vividly was the assassination of John F Kennedy. I was 13 at the time. However, I’m sure I heard something about our first astronauts when I was 10–12 y/o. I do remember the school bringing in TVs & halting classes so we could watch history being made. I didn’t find it as exciting as the adults did. I was devastated when JFK died!!!

Dutchess_III's avatar

Everyone was devastated @LadyMarissa. They still are.

Also, I was 5 when JFK was killed.

RocketGuy's avatar

I was -0.4 years old when JFK was killed. My parents liked him so much that they named me after him.

Dutchess_III's avatar

His name was Rocket Guy?

Dutchess_III's avatar

I wanted to name my middle child Jacqueline.

ragingloli's avatar

Doubtful you would have even pronounced that correctly.

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