What is Your First Memory of Historical Significance?

Screen shot 2014-01-08 at 5.49.48 PMSo today I step away from Civil War and California history and my usual rants about the effectiveness of social media to address memory - specifically, our lived memory. I'll throw in my personal memory of some - shall we say - more recent history. The date was August 8, 1974 - I was only seven but I remember clearly as if it were yesterday....Nixon addressing the nation and resigning the presidency, effective the following day at noon. What I remember most were not the details of the scandal leading up to this broadcast, but simply the term "Watergate" and how it had been dominating the media for what seemed like (to a seven-year-old) forever. What I do remember is venting my frustration to my grandmother, the person with whom I usually watched television, explaining (in an Alabama accent that I have long since lost) that "Watergate was the only thing on TV anymore." She, a Nixon supporter, had to agree.

In those days, my favorite shows were Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom and The Wonderful World of Disney. I had had enough of Watergate, especially when it preempted my programs. These days, I do not own a TV. And to be honest, I have not really trusted a politician since.

So....tell me, what is your first memory of a historical event? How has that shaped your view of the world?

You can watch the Nixon resignation speech below - just for fun.

With compliments, Keith