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Old 05-31-2009, 09:38 PM
 
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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?
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Old 05-31-2009, 10:05 PM
 
Location: San Antonio
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The Korean War. When I was a kid it was much in the news and on TV. And The Bomb, that was a big deal.

Also the Creek Indian War and the battle of the Alamo. Because they were depicted on Walt Disney's "Davy Crockett" series. Right until the end I thought ole Davy was gonna whip the Mexicans.
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Old 05-31-2009, 10:41 PM
 
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I remember on the news - every night about Saigon Saigon Saigon... the Vietnam war of course. After that when those Israeli athletes were killed at the Munich Olympics.
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Old 05-31-2009, 10:43 PM
 
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Being herded into the gymnasium at school so we could watch the Gemini launches. My dad developed the telemetry so this was a big deal in our house. JFK's assassination. Watching the Beatles on Ed Sullivan. All had an effect on me during grade school. The assassinations of MLK, Jr. and RFK and the moon walk all happened while I was in high school. The world was a different place then.
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Old 06-01-2009, 12:11 AM
 
Location: Iowa
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Watching the president resign from his office, as his VP pick did the previous year. But after the damage was done to their party and country, at least they knew enough to lay low for awhile and keep their mouths shut.
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Old 06-01-2009, 12:23 AM
 
Location: Chicago
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I remember the assassination of JFK, it was on TV for what seemed like days. By the way, TV was black & white and I was 4 years old.
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Old 06-01-2009, 12:58 AM
 
Location: Metromess
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I was 17 when JFK was gunned down. It made a huge impression on me. I lived in Dallas when it happened. Talk about a black eye for a town!
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Old 06-01-2009, 02:06 AM
 
Location: Aloverton
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The Monday holiday law, when I was 5. Before that, my birthday had happened to be on a minor holiday. Now, I learned, the government had made a new law, and my birthday wasn't a holiday anymore. Wouldn't be most of the time.

The lesson I took from it, and it was a worthwhile one, was that nothing is permanent, especially nothing promised/enacted by institutions (government, corporations, etc.). They giveth and they taketh away, and what you want or need is irrelevant. If you are in the way of where they happen to be going, you'll be run over; the only way to live a safe life is to stay out of the path of where the herd's trampling. Later life reinforced this. It's part of the reason I keep a traditional IRA rather than converting to a Roth: no matter what they promised about tax-free withdrawals, they could and would change the rules, so I want my writeoff now.

And it was the first step in a long process that would lead me to take America at its word when it said that money and wealth was not only the greatest thing, but the only worthy thing, the prime determinant of an individual's absolute worth. When I realized that this was the national ethos, I decided that citizenship was no longer an emotional thing but an economic relationship with a Mafia: I pay my (tax) bill, my protection money as it were, and I get to not be in jail, and I get a reasonable amount of freedom to indulge my own quest for wealth. The bill is immense and the Mafia will waste it, mainly funneling it to the wealthy and spending almost none of it to benefit me, but that is the human way. Humans set up governmental systems in order to transfer as much wealth and power to the already wealthy as said wealthy believe they can get away with (in other words, without ending up on a lamp-post). If I went elsewhere, there would be a different Mafia; might be gentler and more reasonable, might be crueler and more callous. Overthrowing the Mafia just gets you a new Mafia, often much meaner than the previous one, so that's useless. The devil you know, and all that.

The Monday holiday law didn't cause the whole process, of course. It just put the first hairline crack in the whole edifice.
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Old 06-01-2009, 09:06 AM
 
2,377 posts, read 5,023,388 times
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I had to think about that one...Don't remember how old I was.. but it was at least 1st or 2nd grade.. when they added "One nation under god" to the Pledge...I thought it was terrible...and I was in Catholic school at the time
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Old 06-01-2009, 09:45 AM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
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My first memory of something happening which seemed to disturb the adults to an unusual degree was the launch of Sputnik in 1957. I recall being informed that the Russians, whom I understood to be bad in the way that I understood the guys that Roy Rogers beat up were bad, had managed to put a basketball sized object in orbit. In my mind I kept picturing an actual basketball, albeit one made of metal, floating around in space. I also vaguely understood that the big problem was that the Russians had gotten their basketball into space before we could get ours up there. Apparently having a basketball in space represented some strategic advantage, although I was unable to imagine the specifics of how that worked.

Shortly thereafter, the same sort of unusual buzz was taking place, this time because the Russians had put another object into space, and this one containing a living dog. I spent some time wondering how they got a dog inside a basketball and finally concluded that it must be some sort of oversized basketball.

There was definitely a disturbing edge to the adult reaction which I saw. One day we were safe and the next we were subject to the bombardment of communist dog poop from space.
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