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Thread: For what national/international event in your childhood do you remember most?

  1. #1

    Default For what national/international event in your childhood do you remember most?

    The other topic going right now about what makes you feel old brought up another question for me.

    For what national/international event in your childhood can you remember exactly where you were and what you were doing when you found out? I think for everyone there has got to be at least one. Some people may have two or three.

    For me it was the explosion of the space shuttle Colombia in Jan. 1987. I was in the sixth grade, and several of us were standing around the teachers desk getting results from a test we had taken when someone from the office came in and whispered something to the teacher. We didn't have TVs in every room like they do now. We were lucky if we had one TV and one computer for the entire school. Anyway, the teacher then had us all sit down and made the announcement to the class that the shuttle had blown up and all the astronauts, including the teacher Christa McAuliff (sp?) were lost. It was shocking and sad all at the same time. Being there was a teacher on board, of course, a lot more school kids than normal where paying attention to what was going on around that launch than any other, except maybe the first one to the moon in the 60s.

    For people my parents age, their event, at least in the US is probably the Kennedy assassination. Both of my parents remember with clarity exactly what they were doing, even though they were not even 10. Dad even remembers watching Ruby shoot Oswald live on TV a few days later. I know for many younger people it's got to be 9-11... and I'm guessing for some of you in the UK and Europe its probably Princess Di's death.

    So what is it for you? How old were you? & What were you doing?

  2. #2


    9/11 I remember the best - simply as I was at school and we got taken to an assembly to be told.

    I also remember the millennium and queen's golden jubilee - simply because of the parties!

    I'm too young to remember Di's death when it happened though...

  3. #3


    Btw, it doesn't necessarily have to be a bad thing that happened. It could be a good thing. It's just that normally good things don't make national/international news enough for us all to remember it.

  4. #4


    The first event I remember is probably a Welsh oil spill in 1996, when I was 10. It effected many beaches, including some kind of near where I lived and I remember seeing the videos on the news of puffins and seagulls and seals and other sea-life being covered in oil and the rescue operations to save them, and the disaster was incorporated into a lot of our lessons at school.

    I also very vividly remember finding out about Princess Diana's death later the same year; I woke up with my brother and sister on Sunday morning to watch 'Fully Booked,' which was a children's TV show, however, when we turned the TV on there was a newsflash on every single television channel that Princess Diana had died. My sister and I ran up to tell my Mum and Dad, who were still in bed having a lie-in, but they didn't believe us at first, then we kept promising it was true and they rushed down to watch it on TV. I remember being annoyed that there was nothing but news on every single channel and no Sunday-morning children's TV more than I cared about her death and I didn't really see it as a big deal. We then did loads of stuff about it at school - writing letters and diary entries etc about it.

    I also remember Tony Blair coming into power in 1997 when I was 11; we watched it in school and I remember it feeling really exciting to have a new Prime Minister. My parents were thrilled and already that age had taught me that the Tories were a bad and untrustworthy political party and so I was excited that we had got the bad guys out of power! I also remember it vividly because whilst we were watching the coverage on TV one of my friends made a racist remark and our headteacher really, really told her off for it; we went to an all-white rural village school and race wasn't something that was often discussed but that was the first time I kind of realised that racism existed and that is wrong.

    Those are probably the three earliest events I remember, before the age of 10 I can't really think of any events I watched but I guess that is because I didn't ever watch the news before that time or keep myself up-to-date with current affairs, whilst once I got to 10 we started looking at those sorts of things in more detail at school.

  5. #5


    9/11 was my first year in college, so it made no impression on my childhood. But it was the year a lot of things changed, that's for sure. In the following years we had the Fortuyn and van Gogh assasinations as localized version of that. Strange times indeed. People outside the UK and US don't really care about English royals, so I can't even remember what year Lady Di was.
    The earliest memories of world events I have was the fall of the Berlin wall, I didn't understand the implications at the time, just that everybody got really excited about it. I was really young. I was 6 or 7 when the first Gulf War happened and I remember those CNN images of Baghdad and the threats of chemical attacks on Israel, people being handed gasmasks. That was probably the first time I was sortof aware of what was happening. An earthquake in SF was another one, but only because a classmate was on holiday there and had seen it happen.

    I remember school always wanted us to keep up with the news, even at a pretty young age, and important events being talked about in the classroom.

  6. #6


    The first one I remember is the declaration of the first Gulf War in 1991. The announcement was made on Saturday morning at 11:17, and I know this because I was watching Looney Tunes and the network broke in with the announcement.

    And obviously I remember 9/11. I was an undergrad at that point, and I normally had class during that time, but I had literally finished the hour-long exam in five minute, so I went to grab some breakfast. I sat down with my food and was watching the big tv trying to figure out why everyone was deadly silent when the second tower went down. As soon as. I saw that, I knew that everything had just changed.

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  7. #7


    I think for anyone in my generation, the answer will be 9/11. I can remember exactly what I did that day (none of it really pertaining to the tragedy except being evacuated from school in the state of Texas, clueless to why school was canceled for the rest of the day). It's amazing how one unmemorable day can be remembered because of a certain event that happened simultaneously.

    A more minor one is that I remember where I was when I heard Michael Jackson died. I happened to be browsing a MacBook inside an Apple store and guess what I saw on the homepage of Safari!

  8. #8


    I remember where I was when Martin Luther King was assassinated (in my room being punished) Robert Kennedy being killed (in hot S. Texas visiting my Grandparents) and when Man landed on the moon. Geez...I'm old!

  9. #9


    The first news event that really struck me as a child was a major ice storm in 1998 and the insuing "dark triangle" (an area of Quebec that lost power for about a month due to the storm). Other events I remember vividly from my childhood include 9/11 and the destruction of space shuttle Columbia. More recently, I remember Nodar Kumaritashvili's death quite well.

    Sent from my iPhone

  10. #10


    I'm going to pick one that people may find slightly odd - The transfer of sovereignty over Hong Kong to from the UK to China in 1997. I remember it because we had a teacher in lower school that had some connection with Hong Kong, and she talked about the coming handover (this wld have been 1995) as a kind of milestone, one of the first international events that we would remember, and how it was the end of the British Empire - not in a sad way, like a tragic decline or a racist thing, just that Imperial history was now gonna be over for Britain completely, and that the country we lived in as adults would be a new and different place. (obviously some of this is what I'm projecting back as an adult.)
    I remember watching the fireworks of the handover, and the changing of the flags on the news in 1997 and being happy and excited in a vague way.
    So yeah - that's a memory of a "good" event.

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