2174: "First News Memory"

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2174: "First News Memory"

Postby Moose Anus » Wed Jul 10, 2019 8:51 pm UTC

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Title text: Psychology researchers say our 'flashbulb' memories of big events can be unreliable, but I clearly remember watching live on CNN as Challenger crashed into and destroyed the Berlin Wall.

I just remember seeing Stan Atkinson a lot.
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Re: 2174: "First News Memory"

Postby Wowfunhappy » Wed Jul 10, 2019 8:53 pm UTC

Wait, so is black hat guy canonically an alien now? This is huge!

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2174: "First News Memory"

Postby RedwoodRhiadra » Wed Jul 10, 2019 8:53 pm UTC

Image

Title text: Psychology researchers say our 'flashbulb' memories of big events can be unreliable, but I clearly remember watching live on CNN as Challenger crashed into and destroyed the Berlin Wall.

Mine was also the Challenger explosion when I was in fifth grade, starting a few minutes after the explosion (one of the teachers had been watching the launch from outside, and rushed in to tell everyone, then they wheeled in a TV a few minutes later and turned on the news.)

My *second* news memory was the Iran-Contra hearings the next year - mom watched every minute of them live.

(I was surprised to see there wasn't a thread yet, since the comic's been up for several hours.)

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Re: 2174: "First News Memory"

Postby RogueCynic » Wed Jul 10, 2019 9:04 pm UTC

Not sure if it was my first news memory but I remember the Watergate trials. My mother told me a dam burst and the government wanted to know why.
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Re: 2174: "First News Memory"

Postby Keyman » Wed Jul 10, 2019 9:24 pm UTC

JFK.

And we'd just had our "class officer" elections. When teacher told us 'the presdinet has been shot', I couldn't imagine what the heck George ws doing in Dallas.
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Re: 2174: "First News Memory"

Postby Pfhorrest » Wed Jul 10, 2019 9:30 pm UTC

Probably the Persian Gulf War. The original from the 90s, not the shitty sequel from the 2000s.
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Re: 2174: "First News Memory"

Postby gmalivuk » Wed Jul 10, 2019 9:31 pm UTC

I remember the Challenger explosion, which happened a week before my 3rd birthday.

I doubt any of the details about that event actually come from the original memory, and I'm probably wrong about my apparent memories of my surroundings when I watched the news, but I remain fairly confident that the explosion itself (on TV the day it happened or in coverage the following days) was my first datable memory.

Pfhorrest wrote:
Probably the Persian Gulf War. The original from the 90s, not the shitty sequel from the 2000s.

In fairness the original was pretty shitty, too.
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Re: 2174: "First News Memory"

Postby hipifreq » Wed Jul 10, 2019 9:33 pm UTC

Wait, the Challenger explosion wasn't 1995, it was 1986!

That was my first real news memory. We watched it live in my 7th grade electronics class and my teacher was the one to inform the principal. We all went home early but I remember not being excited about it.

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Re: 2174: "First News Memory"

Postby J%r » Wed Jul 10, 2019 9:39 pm UTC

Mine was when Gorbachev was calling quits. This was rather confusing later on in geography class as there were maps listing that country as either 'Soviet union', 'USSR', 'CCCP' or Russia. While thinking why a country should change their name three times.

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Re: 2174: "First News Memory"

Postby Pfhorrest » Wed Jul 10, 2019 9:50 pm UTC

hipifreq wrote:Wait, the Challenger explosion wasn't 1995, it was 1986!

I thought 1995 seemed like a weird year. I would have remembered something that happened in 1995, but I remember knowing that the Challenger explosion was something that happened before I was aware of the news. 1986 makes much more sense.

What's going on here with this 1995 date?
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Re: 2174: "First News Memory"

Postby Leovan » Wed Jul 10, 2019 9:53 pm UTC

Mine was the illness/death of Freddy Mercury. It came on the radio on my birthday and I remember it because it greatly upset my father...
Indirectly, I remember the beginning of the second Gulf War because my father explained what was happening to me, but I didn't get from the news directly so I didn't count it here.

As for Challenger/1995, I assume that's part of the joke that the teacher was fired soon after, I assume for withholding the information that the Challenger had blown up and traumatizing the children unnecessarily.

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Re: 2174: "First News Memory"

Postby Reka » Wed Jul 10, 2019 10:57 pm UTC

hipifreq wrote:Wait, the Challenger explosion wasn't 1995, it was 1986!

Hence the joke. (Hint: Teachers who showed it in 1986 weren't fired.)

hipifreq wrote:That was my first real news memory. We watched it live in my 7th grade electronics class and my teacher was the one to inform the principal. We all went home early but I remember not being excited about it.

We must be the same age. Challenger is my first news memory as well, and I was in 7th grade, too, but beyond that it gets hazy. I remember my teachers being really sad about something, but I didn't know what. It probably didn't help that we did not actually have a TV at the time, so when it came to current events, I spent a lot of time "nodding and smiling" to hide the fact that I didn't have the faintest idea what people were talking about.

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Re: 2174: "First News Memory"

Postby DavidSh » Wed Jul 10, 2019 11:44 pm UTC

I remember the Apollo 11 Moon landing (from Earth). I know I was following earlier space missions, but I don't remember now which ones. And I remember a little about the 1968 US presidential campaign, but no specific events.

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Re: 2174: "First News Memory"

Postby freezeblade » Wed Jul 10, 2019 11:57 pm UTC

My first news memory was watching the infamous white Ford Bronco chase on the 405 freeway. Yes. that one.
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Re: 2174: "First News Memory"

Postby GlassHouses » Thu Jul 11, 2019 1:49 am UTC

The evacuation of Saigon, in 1975. Specifically, helicopters being pushed off the deck of an aircraft carrier to make more room, the deck being full of people. I was 10 years old at the time, old enough to realize that helicopters are really expensive, and you don't just toss them in the water, so I understood that something was going on, and it made quite an impression.

I also saw the Apollo 11 moon landing, but being only four years old, had no perspective as to how impressive that was, so it didn't make the kind of impression that the news from Vietnam would make six years later.

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Re: 2174: "First News Memory"

Postby cameroda » Thu Jul 11, 2019 1:54 am UTC

JFK, but mainly because my mom was so distraught. Next major memory was the moon landing, and we were allowed to stay up late at summer camp to watch, so more memorable.

Challenger disaster was so horrific that I will never forget it. Stuff between moon landing and challenger is mostly fuzzy. I know things happened, but the memory is mostly reinforced from other sources.

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Re: 2174: "First News Memory"

Postby pogrmman » Thu Jul 11, 2019 2:08 am UTC

I’m young: my first news memory was 9/11 (though it isn’t super clear and idk how much of it was manufactured by me later). I do remember the day itself, though, and how distraut my parents were. Events I am much more confident about having seen on the news were the launch of either Spirit or Opportunity (I forget which), coverage of the 2004 Mount St. Helens unrest, and the 2005 hurricane season (obviously including Katrina, but also the others: it was the first year I was interested in tracking hurricanes, but Katrina was so devastating that I decided to stop (but then Rita started coming towards Texas, so I tracked it)). I also remember the Athens Olympics pretty well, too. I clearly wasn’t all that focused on politics (or my parents kept me away from news of things like the invasion of the Middle East).

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Re: 2174: "First News Memory"

Postby dtilque » Thu Jul 11, 2019 3:41 am UTC

Wowfunhappy wrote:Wait, so is black hat guy canonically an alien now? This is huge!


Yes, it certainly explains a lot.

My earliest news memory was Hank Aaron hitting a homerun in the World Series. Can't remember if it was '57 or '58, though.1 I also remember listening to the early election returns on the radio in 1960 and have some very vague memories of the first three Mercury space launches in the early 60s.


1 Yes I'm dating myself here. Dating oneself is more work, because you have to uphold both halves of the conversation. OTOH, the dinner and movie don't cost nearly as much.
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Re: 2174: "First News Memory"

Postby Bratmon » Thu Jul 11, 2019 4:44 am UTC

When I read this comic, it occurred to me that I'm in a narrow age band that would never ask this question.

Anyone within a few years of me in either direction would have the same answer.

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Re: 2174: "First News Memory"

Postby chridd » Thu Jul 11, 2019 5:30 am UTC

I'm too young to remember most of the stuff mentioned in the comic.

I definitely remember the 2000 presidential election, and all the Florida recount stuff. I didn't know anything about the candidates at the time, aside from their names, so I didn't have a preference for who I wanted to win. I was 10 at the time. (I didn't follow the news or politics much as a kid; that was boring adult stuff, and I wouldn't have had enough context to understand most of the news at that point.) I also definitely remember hearing about the September 11 attacks when they happened.

I think I was vaguely aware of some sort of scandal going on involving Bill Clinton when that was happening, but didn't know much about it.

Oh, and I definitely heard a lot about the Y2K bug when people were worried about that.

Does "Pokémon exists and is popular" count as news?

Edit: I was thinking about making some sort of joke about remembering "news" from the comic page, but then I remembered that I have a vague memory of finding out that Calvin and Hobbes was ending.
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Re: 2174: "First News Memory"

Postby da Doctah » Thu Jul 11, 2019 8:50 am UTC

Lots of mention of JFK already in this thread, but I don't remember it firsthand like everyone claims to be able to do. I would have been about four years old, so it's possible they just didn't make a big fuss about it in front of me. The first famous person whose death I remember hearing about when it happened was Walt Disney.

As for more general news, probably the whole 1968 election (LBJ's "I will not seek and will not accept my party's nomination", RFK getting shot after winning *all* the delegates, George Wallace trying to run on the redneck platform, the protests at both conventions and all the balloting and reballoting for the nomination).

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Re: 2174: "First News Memory"

Postby leeharveyosmond » Thu Jul 11, 2019 9:08 am UTC

hipifreq wrote:Wait, the Challenger explosion wasn't 1995, it was 1986!

Yes; the comic does after all concern the unreliability of something ... rats, I’ve forgotten what

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Re: 2174: "First News Memory"

Postby markfiend » Thu Jul 11, 2019 10:59 am UTC

I distinctly remember watching (on TV) the Investiture of Prince Charles as Prince of Wales. However, it actually happened several months before I was born. I think I must have conflated it with Princess Anne's (first) wedding, which would have been when I was 3.
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Re: 2174: "First News Memory"

Postby pkcommando » Thu Jul 11, 2019 11:12 am UTC

I remember the inauguration of Bush Sr when I was 2nd grade. We'd had a spelling test that day that I didn't want to miss despite not feeling 100%. I made it through the test, told the teacher I didn't feel so good, started throwing up, and got sent home. I watched the inauguration on TV from the living room couch (it was the only thing on) while our cat curled up with me.

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Re: 2174: "First News Memory"

Postby orthogon » Thu Jul 11, 2019 11:17 am UTC

I'm not sure about other news, but in terms of political news, the day I found out what the Prime Minister is was the day Thatcher got elected. I was 6 (about to turn 7), and my teacher wheeled in the TV so we could watch (possibly her speech outside Downing Street?), and explained what a big deal it was that the UK had its first ever female PM.

The result of this was that the ensuing 18-year Tory government felt like for-freaking-ever to me.
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Re: 2174: "First News Memory"

Postby AndrewGPaul » Thu Jul 11, 2019 11:31 am UTC

Mine is probably the sinking of the Herald of Free Enterprise in 1985. It wasn't until later that I learned that the reason my mum had the telly on all that night was because my dad might have been on it (he wasn't, he was on the sister ship going the other way).

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Re: 2174: "First News Memory"

Postby cellocgw » Thu Jul 11, 2019 1:09 pm UTC

dtilque wrote:
Wowfunhappy wrote:Wait, so is black hat guy canonically an alien now? This is huge!


Yes, it certainly explains a lot.

My earliest news memory was Hank Aaron hitting a homerun in the World Series. Can't remember if it was '57 or '58, though.1 I also remember listening to the early election returns on the radio in 1960 and have some very vague memories of the first three Mercury space launches in the early 60s.


1 Yes I'm dating myself here. Dating oneself is more work, because you have to uphold both halves of the conversation. OTOH, the dinner and movie don't cost nearly as much.


And here I was hoping to be the oldest Grumpy Old Man here. I can't claim any news memory prior to the Cuban Missile Crisis. I have a vague memory of asking my Mom if the runner-up (1960) in the election became the Veep, but am not sure about that one.
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Re: 2174: "First News Memory"

Postby Heimhenge » Thu Jul 11, 2019 1:54 pm UTC

DavidSh wrote:I remember the Apollo 11 Moon landing (from Earth). I know I was following earlier space missions, but I don't remember now which ones. And I remember a little about the 1968 US presidential campaign, but no specific events.


That's kinda where I'm at ... I remember watching some of those earlier launches (John Glenn et al.) on a tiny B&W TV in elementary school. That was back when some of the launch attempts blew up, fortunately none of the manned ones. Seeing a rocket blow up is pretty memorable. May not count as "news" but it was live TV.

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Re: 2174: "First News Memory"

Postby hermitian » Thu Jul 11, 2019 1:55 pm UTC

hipifreq wrote:Wait, the Challenger explosion wasn't 1995, it was 1986!


Yea, that's the joke. Imagine if a teacher in 1995 set up a TV, got the kids excited about a space shuttle launch (with a teacher onboard!), and then showed them the Challenger launch.

She would be fired.

It did take me a second to get it.

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Re: 2174: "First News Memory"

Postby orthogon » Thu Jul 11, 2019 2:01 pm UTC

cellocgw wrote:I have a vague memory of asking my Mom if the runner-up (1960) in the election became the Veep, but am not sure about that one.

According to Hamilton, that's how it used to work (although that "convention" was changed after two elections). Maybe it's an idea y'all should bring back?
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

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Re: 2174: "First News Memory"

Postby toddgeorge » Thu Jul 11, 2019 2:23 pm UTC

I have memories of the 1972 Summer Olympics and the murders of Israeli athletes, but I'm not sure if those memories come directly from that time or are more from the retrospectives that were broadcast during the 1976 Olympics and since then. I do know that I remember sitting on the green shag carpet of our home in 1973 watching the Watergate hearings, but I don't have one specific moment of that time that's clear in my memory. The first specific "I remember exactly where I was when..." type of memory I have is probably when Elvis died in 1977 when I was eight.

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Re: 2174: "First News Memory"

Postby jozwa » Thu Jul 11, 2019 2:33 pm UTC

It's kinda unrelatable to me how people can apparently answer the question without hesitation or having to think about it very hard. The only thing I can remember off the top of my head is 9/11 and I was almost a teen at that point. And I don't even remember the details of where or how I first heard about it. I just remember there was a silent moment at school the next day.

Well aside from catastrophic news I remember following the 2000 Finnish presidential election on tv with my folks.

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Re: 2174: "First News Memory"

Postby drachefly » Thu Jul 11, 2019 2:34 pm UTC

Something to do with Reagan. I think the earliest was the arms reduction treaty, which led into the explanation about the cold war. It got me a bit freaked out that no one had mentioned that whole risk-of-nuclear-destruction-at-any-moment thing to me up to that point.

freezeblade wrote:My first news memory was watching the infamous white Ford Bronco chase on the 405 freeway. Yes. that one.

Just ran into that yesterday as an analogy for the plot of The Last Jedi.

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Re: 2174: "First News Memory"

Postby orthogon » Thu Jul 11, 2019 2:45 pm UTC

drachefly wrote:
freezeblade wrote:My first news memory was watching the infamous white Ford Bronco chase on the 405 freeway. Yes. that one.

Just ran into that yesterday as an analogy for the plot of The Last Jedi.

Explanation or link please!
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Re: 2174: "First News Memory"

Postby freezeblade » Thu Jul 11, 2019 4:18 pm UTC

I'd love to hear how The Last Jedi is like the OJ Simpson police chase!
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Re: 2174: "First News Memory"

Postby MrT2 » Thu Jul 11, 2019 5:03 pm UTC

Hmm, have to check a few dates to see what came first here...

Exxon Valdez oil spill, March 1989 - definitely remember this, loads of coverage of the dying seabirds on kids tv at the time (Newsround/Blue Peter in the UK)
Lockerbie Pan Am bombing, Dec 1988 - not really sure if I remember it or because I've seen multiple documentaries since then
Piper Alpha oil rig disaster, July 1988 - I was aware of the firefighting operation 3 weeks later, not so much the disaster itself, or at least not that people died

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Re: 2174: "First News Memory"

Postby colonel_hack » Thu Jul 11, 2019 6:05 pm UTC

1st memory RFK w/ JFK as background. Also the space program. Probably Gemini but don't recall enough detail. Definitely pre apollo.

1st conspiracy theory: JFK is the antichrist and will come back from his fatal head wound, which I've seen as late as a pamphlet handed to me in a parking lot in the '90s.

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Re: 2174: "First News Memory"

Postby Seraph » Thu Jul 11, 2019 6:54 pm UTC

Off the top of my head Pan AM 103 is the earliest memory I can nail to a specific date.
A year-ish later I have clear memories of: The Loma Prieta earthquake (i.e. the world series quake), the United Airlines Flight 232 crash including the video of the thing hitting the runway, and the post-crash investigation where they talked about how the flaws in the turbine disk could have been detected, and of Bob Vila leaving "This Old House".

Things I can't tie to dates or are not specifically news:
I also have pretty clear memories of President Reagan being on the TV for a speech (something that interrupted whatever I actually wanted to watch at the time), but I couldn't tell you specifically for what.
I have a vague recollection of Chernobyl.
I also have a bunch of entertainment based memories. One of the earliest I can remember is recording the 1985 ABC broadcast of the Wrath of Kahn (because 9pm was my bedtime).

My favorite early childhood news memory was a few years later, watching Ross Perot do his 30 minute commercial/speech. He used a lot of graphs. I liked graphs.

Also, a lot of my "early childhood" memories turned out to be from 92/93 when I looked them up. The US going into Somolia, the Maibu fire, the previously mentioned Ross Perot, the Waco siege, the Dan Quayle "Murphy Brown" speech, and a bunch of others.

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Re: 2174: "First News Memory"

Postby orthogon » Thu Jul 11, 2019 6:59 pm UTC

colonel_hack wrote:1st memory RFK w/ JFK as background. Also the space program. Probably Gemini but don't recall enough detail. Definitely pre apollo.

1st conspiracy theory: JFK is the antichrist and will come back from his fatal head wound, which I've seen as late as a pamphlet handed to me in a parking lot in the '90s.

Maybe Trump is JFK back from the dead. Massive trauma to specific parts of the brain would explain many of his cognitive malfunctions.
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

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Re: 2174: "First News Memory"

Postby Quizatzhaderac » Thu Jul 11, 2019 7:02 pm UTC

What strikes me as unrelatable is the prominice of the medium in peoples memory. My first news memory is probably the first gulf war but I don't recall actually watching it on the news, My first specific news memory is Bill Clinton's election (there were bar charts). My first specific news memory without thinking hard was 9/11.

I remember a high school teacher telling us that everyone (who was old enough) could remember exactly where they were when they heard JFK was shot; I asked my father he took a minute to think about it and guessed New York.
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