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Old 06-01-2009, 09:57 AM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,661 posts, read 78,722,512 times
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Growing up during WWII, there were a lot of contenders, but my awareness of it was not so much comprehending the war itself, but rather my awareness of the impact of the war years on family life.

Gasoline was rationed and tires were impossible to obtain. One year, my did didn't even renew his license plates, because he was committed to not driving at all. If a driver saw a car going too fast (wasting gas or excessive tire wear), he would sound the Morse Code "V" (for Victory) on his horn as a reminder. My dad had to go to a funeral 400 miles away, and needed to get a special permit, required by civilians to ride a train. There were periodic "black-outs", when everyone was required to turn off all lights, and observers would walk around the streets to make sure no lights could be seen, as a drill against air raids. There was a recycling boom, newspapers, stepped-on tin cans, everything was carefully set aside to be recycled. We still played cowboys and indians, because nobody wanted to be a *** (starts with J) or a Nazi. We bought Victory Stamps at school, a penny apiece, and a book full of the stamps was the equivalent of a war bond. When the war was over, the line at J C Pennys to buy nylon stockings was two blocks long.
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Old 06-01-2009, 11:55 AM
 
Location: Maryland
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No doubt, Apollo 11. Of all global events, this (I think) was the most fantastic and enduring event.
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Old 06-01-2009, 12:28 PM
 
9,803 posts, read 14,404,037 times
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JFK getting assassinated.

I was 18 at the time and just got off work to cash my paycheck and have a few beers with my co-workers. ( we heard it announced on a radio in the bar )

I thought asasinations were something that only happened years ago and were mentioned in history classes.
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Old 06-01-2009, 01:15 PM
 
1,047 posts, read 2,178,919 times
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Watergate and the last American leaving the moon. I don't think I've trusted government officials to do what's right since then.
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Old 06-01-2009, 01:16 PM
 
Location: Western Cary, NC
4,349 posts, read 6,846,325 times
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The assassination of JFK, and drills at school in case we had a nuclear bomb dropped. These sure made an impression on me.
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Old 06-01-2009, 01:29 PM
 
1,016 posts, read 2,850,491 times
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Probably when Reagan was shot. I couldn't figure out why anybody would want to shoot the President.
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Old 06-01-2009, 01:41 PM
 
Location: Connecticut
1,461 posts, read 4,492,283 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobE View Post
When I was six, I was so oblivious that I didn't even know that JFK had been assassinated. However, the day of the funeral, I came home either from playing outside or from school, I can't remember which, and saw my mom crying while she watched it on television. I can still see the images from it in my mind (in black and white, of course). My mom explained to me what had happened, but I think I was more nonplussed than anything else. But it definitely left an impression of, "this is huge."After that, it would be the various Gemini launches. I became pretty obsessed by what was going on with the space program during my elementary school years. Bobby Kennedy's assassination pretty much killed the buzz from that, though. This country seemed to be making so much great progress and then that happened. So how about you?
Having been 15 years old when Kennedy was assassinated, this too was vivid in my mind but more so than this was the Bay of Pigs issue with those missles pointed directly 90 miles off the coast of Florida and how impressed we all were with how President Kennedy handled this issue. I don't think I have ever been so scared as a young teen with what this all consisted of. Everyone at that time was trying to figure out just where would be the best place to build a bomb shelter should we survive an attack such as this. Luckily nothing came of it...but it was a "moment" I will never forget.

Growing up in the 60's was a real time of trial and tribulation...Bay of Pigs, Kennedy Assassination, Bobby Kennedy Assassination, Viet Nam and more. I have a tough time when I hear kids now squawking about the economy and not being able to have stuff and not even beginning to understand the political side of why we are in the mess we are in and how we got here. History plays such an integral part in how we got to where we are now...kids need to know that everything they have, all the freedoms, rights, way of life, etc. all came to be because someone before them perhaps gave their life to make it so. I sometimes wonder if any of the kids with their Ipods, cell phones, xboxes, etc. even take a second to wonder how kids survived 40 years ago without all this new fangled stuff, and what about kids 80 years ago..even longer than that...what did they do before all these things came to be...all part of History and all should be taught.
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Old 06-01-2009, 02:06 PM
 
Location: Colorado (PA at heart)
9,647 posts, read 15,122,067 times
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I'm obviously a lot younger than all of you, lol. For me, it was the Gulf War, I was 8-9. I remember being perplexed that "living through a war" wasn't very scary like I thought it'd be and didn't really effect our lives at all. I was very curious about the whole thing and wondered what determined where the war was fought and why there wasn't bombing and such in America. I remember asking my mom if she lived through a war and she said yes, the Vietnam War and I asked her what it was like. I guess I had this picture of war time as a something that effected every citizen and was trying to figure out why that wasn't the case.
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Old 06-01-2009, 03:09 PM
 
5,748 posts, read 11,188,934 times
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The first significant historical event of my life was the Challenger explosion. One of my high school teachers was a candidate to be on that flight, and to this day it breaks my heart.
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Old 06-01-2009, 03:18 PM
 
1,534 posts, read 2,338,971 times
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For me it was the fall of Dien Bien Phu, which I barely understood. As a young boy I had followed the first war in Indochina in the press, and couldn't understand how the "good guys" lost.
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