People Share The First Major News Story They Remember Learning About As A Kid
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Growing up, I was always struck by the number of adults I met who could tell me about where they were when President John F. Kennedy was shot. Many of them were children at the time of the event, and it became clear that this was likely the first news story they could remember following. And it likely influenced their perceptions of the world we all live in.

People shared their stories after Redditor [deleted] asked the online community,

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

"I was close to her age..."

"The Jon Benet Ramsey case. I was close to her age when she died, maybe that's why it stuck with me (and it was all over the news for weeks, if not longer)."


Nowadays, it seems like many people agree that her brother committed the crime and that her parents covered it up. It's wild to me that we still talk about this case all these years later.

"I also remember..."

"Apparently I am very old. I remember coming into the kitchen and my mother shushing me...she was listening to reports of the Kennedy assassination on a transistor radio. I also remember watching the funeral procession on a black and white TV."


​"The Millenium..."

"The millennium and all the panic that the clocks were all going to reset."


Ah, yes. Y2K. Those were the days. And when nothing happened, I remember thinking, "What in the world was all that about?"

"I remember watching the news..."

"Columbine. I remember watching the news and seeing all the kids walk out with their hands up behind their heads (because they didn't know who were the culprits at that time). I was 7 or so. That's the first one that comes to mind."


That event pretty much signalled, at least for me, the beginning of what is much of our current political landscape. Now that I'm older, I see that the problem of gun violence (and politicians not doing anything about it) is a tale as old as time, at least in the United States.

"I loved wrestling as a kid..."

"Chris Benoit murder-suicide. I loved wrestling as a kid so hearing about that f***** me up, especially because he was one of my favorites."


"I was about to start kindergarten..."

"The Apollo 11 moon landing. I was about to start kindergarten, and was as excited about being allowed to eat breakfast in the living room as I was about that."


"He was in the Coast Guard..."

"Bill Clinton's "I did not have sexual relations with that woman" interview. I was 8 when it happened so I paid absolutely no attention to the news but that one stuck out to me because my dad used to talk about it a lot. He was in the Coast Guard at the time so it was a big deal to him."


How fitting to read this now that American Crime Story: Impeachment is on the air. Monica Lewinsky has taken back the narrative.

"My grandfather..."

"9/11 - I was 8 at the time. My grandfather worked a block from the Pentagon when it was struck. We didn't know what was happening, so when we heard that smoke was rising from the building, we weren't sure if he had been hurt or trapped. My mother took my brother and me to my grandmother's house so we could console her and watch for updates. When he walked through the door many hours later, it was like he had risen from the dead. One of the scariest days of my life."


"I remember discussing it..."

"The first story about which I actually had some understanding of what had happened was Princess Diana's death. I was 5. I remember discussing it quite seriously (for my age) with the neighbor's older granddaughter who was one of my first "crushes."


"I have vague recollections..."

"I have vague recollections of Ronald Reagan defeating Jimmy Carter and then more solid memories of the ending of the Iran Hostage Crisis."


Will kids around today later share memories about the end of the war in Afghanistan? The flooding in New York City? Climate change?

Thanks to the 24-hour news cycle, we're bound to get more answers than ever.

Have some stories of your own? Feel free to tell us about them in the comments below.

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