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Thursday, July 07, 2016

Your first big news story

OK, here is a fun diversion for early July, started on Twitter:

What's the first major news story you can remember living through as a child?

(Note: This is not necessarily the same as "where were you when" or even the first story you could understand; it is the first story you remember hearing or knowing about, even in simplest terms):

For me, it was Nixon's resignation and the impeachment talk in the month-or-so leading to that.


Have at it in comments.

Posted by Howard Wasserman on July 7, 2016 at 09:20 AM in Howard Wasserman, Law and Politics | Permalink


My mother took me across the street to neighbors who had a TV so we could watch MacArthur's ticker-tape parade when he was relieved of command by Pres. Truman. But I don't remember that, just being told about it. But I do remember being told a kid down the street had a father in the Army in Korea, but I think the war was just over. So that would have been 1953 or 1954 when I was 7 or 8.

Posted by: Edward Still | Jul 12, 2016 12:09:44 PM

Born in 1973. First: Reagan getting shot. Second: Challenger.

Posted by: Scott Dodson | Jul 11, 2016 5:18:29 PM

Short memories of the MLK assassination, the RFK assassination, and the 1968 Democratic convention riots. Although I was only 7, I came to dread "special reports" or "breaking news" interrupting regular programs that year. Sadly, this year has some of the same feel.

Posted by: Tom Berg | Jul 11, 2016 5:02:12 PM

Elvis Presley's death.

Posted by: Laura | Jul 10, 2016 9:45:52 PM

The self-immolation by Buddhist monks in Viet Nam in 1963 to draw attention to the severe discrimination against Buddhists by the Diem regime. I was nine; I listened to the news every night on my transistor radio, and this story, and learning about the reasons behind the monks' action, made a lasting impression.

Posted by: Stephanie Farrior | Jul 10, 2016 4:37:38 PM

My father woke me up in what seemed like the middle of the night to watch Neil Armstrong walk on the moon. Via Walter Cronkite, of course.

Posted by: Michael | Jul 9, 2016 10:43:05 PM

I remember being in the car listening to the radio when Elvis died. My mother cried.

Posted by: Christine Hurt | Jul 8, 2016 4:23:40 PM

The assassination of President Kennedy and then the murder of Lee Harvey Oswald. We were watching a Spanish lesson on TV in the 3rd grade. The station broke in with live coverage. Our teacher apparently got caught up in events and didn't realize that it might be inappropriate for children to see. We watched for hours.
And then I was watching TV with my dad when Oswald was shot. I will never forget it because my exceptionally humane and gentle dad said the only unkind thing I ever heard come out of his mouth. "I hope he suffers." That was more shocking to me than watching a live shooting.
Funny what makes an impression on a child. I'm 63 now and I can still recall being stunned by his words.

Posted by: SAR | Jul 8, 2016 4:03:17 PM

Only 8 responses (out of 22) are before 1980 and only 5 before 1970. Tells you who reads blogs and who doesn't. . . . (Mine would make 9 and 6: Kennedy-Nixon debates, although I remember the JFK assassination and funeral much more vividly.)

Posted by: Suzanna Sherry | Jul 8, 2016 3:20:24 PM

Kennedy assassination. It interrupted Bozos circus or whatever cartoons I was watching.

Posted by: Spencer Waller | Jul 8, 2016 3:00:23 PM

Rodney King beating

Posted by: Truth | Jul 8, 2016 2:49:21 PM


Posted by: E | Jul 8, 2016 2:17:42 PM

Democratic convention of 1952.

Posted by: Steven Lubet | Jul 8, 2016 11:26:24 AM

Berlin Wall. I was.. 5? Although I think that was also the year l first saw the Taj and filched a piece of the retaining wall rubble (it was being repaired) so that "wall" was more real to me.

Posted by: So&So | Jul 8, 2016 2:05:23 AM

1972 Munich Olympics. Thx Paul & Jeff Lipshaw for making me feel less old.

Posted by: Elizabeth | Jul 8, 2016 1:13:20 AM

1972 Munich Olympics. Thx Paul & Jeff Lipshaw for making me feel less old.

Posted by: Elizabeth | Jul 8, 2016 1:12:37 AM

Fall of the Berlin Wall. I was six. A girl named Morgan came into class with a piece of the wall shortly after. I did not appreciate the significance, oddly enough.

Posted by: Andrew | Jul 7, 2016 9:18:48 PM

Iran Hostage Crisis. The Nightly Walter Cronkite updates. Vaguely remember Carter's New Years Eve speech on The dawn of the 1980s on NYE 1979.

And Star Wars in 1977.

Posted by: Brian Clarke | Jul 7, 2016 8:58:51 PM

Nixon's resignation speech on TV. My folks sat all us kids down on the red shag carpet to watch.

Posted by: Mary Pareja | Jul 7, 2016 7:45:16 PM

Not babies, just youngsters
Cuban missile crisis (Brinkley and Huntley on NBC; Walter Cronkite on CBS.

Posted by: Paul | Jul 7, 2016 6:22:19 PM

The vote on the Persian Gulf War when I was 5.

Posted by: Asher Steinberg | Jul 7, 2016 4:48:03 PM

All babies. 1960 Kennedy-Nixon Presidential election.

Posted by: Jeff Lipshaw | Jul 7, 2016 3:41:55 PM

Desert Storm. I remember being a kid and watching all the "army men" on TV.

Posted by: YesterdayIKilledAMammoth | Jul 7, 2016 12:58:22 PM

I vaguely recall discussing Bobby Kennedy's assassination in elementary school, though it might have been KLK. Either way, I would have been 6 yrs old, so I don't know that I "lived through it" in any meaningful way. But definitely the moon landing the next year.

Posted by: gdanning | Jul 7, 2016 12:50:40 PM

Blanking here.

For some reason, I remember seeing a blurb that Vivian Vance died.

But, news stories? I simply don't recall any before my mid-teens.

Posted by: Joe | Jul 7, 2016 11:59:04 AM


Posted by: Art | Jul 7, 2016 11:44:43 AM

The eruption of Mount St. Helens in 1980 - I was not quite 5 years old. The pictures of the volcano on TV were mesmerizing.

Posted by: Kristina | Jul 7, 2016 10:28:21 AM

The Iran hostage crisis. I remember a guy on the news wearing a t-shirt with Mickey Mouse flipping the bird and the legend "F U Iran" (or something like that -- it's been a long time...).

Posted by: Anon E. Muss | Jul 7, 2016 10:05:51 AM

The Camp David Accords

Posted by: Adam Zimmerman | Jul 7, 2016 9:57:32 AM

The Challenger disaster. I was in kindergarten so the details were very vague, but it did filter down to me that something bad had happened to the astronauts.

Posted by: brad | Jul 7, 2016 9:45:41 AM

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