Friday, March 25, 2011

Flashback Friday - We Interrupt This Broadcast

Did you parents watch the national and/or local television (or radio!) news when you were growing up? Did they have a particular favorite network or newscaster? What about subscribing to the newspaper? Did they shelter you and your siblings from news or was it discussed out in the open? Were you easily frightened by news events? Did your parents explain them? What significant news events do you remember from your childhood? What stands out about them? What is the earliest historical/news event about which you say "I'll never forget where I was when ________ happened"? (And where were you?!)

Our TV went on every night at 5:25 so it would be warmed up when NBC News started at 5:30 and it didn't go off until the local news was over at 6:30. I remember Chet Huntley and David Brinkley anchoring the news when I was little, and I loved their sign-off: "Good-night, David," "Good-night, Chet, and good-night for NBC News." Other than that, to me, the news was kinda like the adults on the Charlie Brown specials: "Bwah bwah bwah bwah bwah bwah." Boring and completely over my head.

The first significant event I remember was the Apollo 11 moon landing in July, 1969. I was just a couple of weeks from turning 8 years old. We were out of town at my grandmother's apartment, and I remember that night being out on the steps with my dad. I looked up at the moon and said, "I don't see anybody." My dad tended to get a little gruff when he was flustered or not sure what to say so he sorta scolded me like I was being ridiculous - "Of course, you can't see anyone; it's too far away!" I didn't think I would see a person, but I thought surely I would see a black dot moving across the moon!

All of the Apollo take-offs and landings were a really big deal. I remember watching the modules splash down into the ocean with the parachutes and the astronauts being picked up by a helicopter and taken to a ship and placed in isolation until the doctors checked them out to be sure they didn't bring some weird disease back from space.

The Nixon era brought some significant news events as well, of course. A fun one was Tricia Nixon's wedding in the White House Rose Garden. That was like having a royal wedding and as a 9-year-old, I was mesmerized. A few short years later, I remember exactly where I was sitting on the floor in the living room as I watched President Nixon resign. Even though I didn't totally understand what Watergate was, it was a bit unsettling to discover that the President and his cronies had broken the law.

I remember how Watergate utterly consumed the news for weeks on end. This was years before cable and C-Span and yet it still seemed like there was interminable coverage of the probes and trials. I particularly remember Senator Sam Ervin, who chaired the Senate Watergate Committee. As a kid, I thought he was dull as dishwater and had to be at least 130 years old. He was indeed about 77, but it cracked me up when I Googled to get a picture; he doesn't look nearly as old to me now as he did 35 years ago!

Then there are the silly news items that stick in our minds. Of course I wasn't all that little when this happened (15) but when President Ford was running for re-election in 1976, he came to Texas and made a stop in San Antonio. After touring the Alamo, he was handed a plate with a tamale on it. He picked it up and bit into it, not realizing that you are supposed to unroll it and discard the corn husk! When the ladies realized what he had done, they unrolled it for him and he finished it with a fork. He was infamously known for the tamale incident just as Dan Quayle is forever linked with potatoe.

Now it's your turn to share your newsworthy memories and link up here so we can all enjoy them!


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sara said...

My first biggest memory was when Kennedy was shot.

I also remember watching all the astronauts splashing down in the ocean and being take to isolation!! I can vividly see in my mind them coming out of the capsule!

Kathy said...

Well, today my age is showing!!! The events that you remember during your childhood dominated my first few years of marriage...Sigh
Thanks for hosting :)

bp said...

LOL on the tamale! I like your story about the moon too.

have a good weekend.

Skoots1moM said...

moon, yeah!
i'll be back ... i'm getting started late.

Robin Lambright said...

One thing I forgot to mention in my post. I guess it's not really a memory but when I was a toddler my grandfather thought me to count backwards from 10 to 0 then we would yell "Lift Off!"

I remember watching the space lift off's with him...


Skoots1moM said...

i had forgotten about the tamale...i remember his clumsiness. great pics ;)

Zoanna said...

I'm in stitches! From "bwah bwah bwah bwah bwah" (which is EXACTLY how I remembered the news sounding) to your looking to the moon for a lack dot. Teeheehee. My husband was named after Glenn Armstrong, child of the sixties that he is!

I linked up today. Brought back a few memories! Thanks.

Zoanna said...

*black dot

quilly said...

Walter Cronkite!

I so want my time back so I can blog and read blogs everyday. I had more free time when I worked!