Motley Moose – Archive

Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

Open Thread: Historical News Events

Today my uncle brought my grandmother a copy of the New York Daily News dated April 4, 1968.

The reason was because he thought my grandmother, a devout Catholic, would be interested in reading about the installation of Terrance Cardinal Cooke as Archibishop of New York.

I knew I recognize the date; April 4, 1968, but I couldn’t tell from where. I skimmed through the news stories; “President Johnson heads to Hawaii to strike peace deal with Hanoi”, “Senator Gene McCarthy wins Wisconsin Democratic Primary”, “New York Assembly kills bill to legalize abortion” Then, on page nine, in a small blurb in the corner next to a Gimbel’s ad, there it was;



Civil Rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr will arrive in Memphis, Tennessee today to support striking negro sanitation workers, even as the city of Memphis deny the workers a permit to stage a protest.

We all know what happened next.

I still have all the New York area newspapers from September 12, 2001, but my favorite paper is a copy of Newsday from September 11, 2001 (my first month working there). In it, there is a small blurb from a reader that reads;

“President Bush is naively ignoring the threat terrorism poses to the United States…”

What major news event from your younger years do you remember?  


  1. Shaun Appleby

    I was nine years old.  I had never seen so many adults all freaked out at once.  It left a lasting impression.  I can remember finding out RFK was dead too, on my way to school.  That was a shocker.  I was only fourteen but something told me our world would never be the same again.

  2. I was only four and we had a black and white TV with an antenna.  It had to be explained to me with small words but I understood it well enough to remember the moment.  

  3. Hollede

    I was around nine years old and remember the hearings in Congress. My parents explained it to me and it is seared into my brain. We moved to Tehran shortly after he resigned.

    I also remember my mother crying when RFK and MLK were killed. I was very young and did not understand it very well.

    Another memory is that of the 1972 election. I remember when McGovern lost every state but his own. My Dad was so happy and my Mom was so sad. Heh, Mom was a Goldwater girl, but inched towards the Democratic party over the years. Dad took longer. He voted for Reagan in 1980, but that was the last repug presidential candidate he voted for. Mom voted for Anderson, I think.

    I remember being 17 and not be able to vote for another three weeks. It was 1980 and I drove around North Dakota in my parents Mazda, smoking cigarettes and crying over Jimmy Carter’s loss to Ronald Reagan.

    I remember the Iranian revolution. Heh. I lived through it.

  4. November 1963, of course. The Tet Offensive in Jan. 1968. The deaths of MLK and RFK later that same year. The Moon landing. Nixon’s resignation. But, the most traumatic would have to be Sept. 11, 2001.

  5. HappyinVT

    I wasn’t that young but it’s better than admitting that I stayed up all night to watch Prince Charles and Lady Diana get married (usurper took my place as the Duchess of Wales).  Tiaras makes big ears tolerable.

  6. NavyBlueWife

    I was in 4th grade watching the lift off, and then it exploded.  It was horrifying.  We didn’t understand what had happened.  

    And if you’re trying to calculate my age, lemme help.  I’m forever 29 … though I think my ID lies and says something like 32. 🙂

  7. November 1963 – I was just three. My mum said I was very upset watching the funeral because Kennedy’s son was the same age as me. I don’t remember that, but I vividly remember the picture of Oswald holding the rifle, but in my imagination he has a black bandanna around his face, and a black cowboy hat.

    It took me years to work out where this false memory came from, until – while studying the assassination in the US – I came across all the contemporary reports (from the day itself indeed) talk on a ‘lone gunman’.

    So in some childhood associative thinking, I’d confused ‘lone gunman’ with ‘The Lone Ranger’.

    9/11 was a watershed in my life, as it was for many other people’s. I know of two people who had severe breakdowns partially caused by the trauma, and since I was conducting a transatlantic relationship at the time, it really ruined that I was in DC on September 7th (oddly evacuated from the Cairo building because of a fire) and casually made my way across the Atlantic, without realising that the world would soon change, and I’d not be able to travel to easily ever again. But though I remember 9/11 with a sickening feeling in my stomach, there’s an even worse feeling when I think about the Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld reaction, and the hundreds of thousands of others who have died as a result, and the damage they did to the US and the world

  8. Kysen

    Jan 20th 1977 – Inauguration of Jimmy Carter

    Watched it on black and white tv while sittin’ on my folk’s bed eating chicken noodle soup and saltines (which prolly means I was sick).


    Did not see another inauguration until this one:


    June 29th 1978 – Bob Crane Murdered

    I think that this one stuck with me not only because I was a fan of Hogan’s Heroes, but, because in a weird way he was the first person I ‘knew’ who was murdered. I felt like I had lost a friend. My folks still talk about how upset I was…inconsolable and not understanding why someone would kill him. I was kinda a weird kid.


    Nov 18th 1978 – Jonestown

    This was another “Kysen is so upset he has the hiccups” situation. Could not grasp how such a thing could happen. Was horrifying to watch/hear/read about at my age (or, really, any age).


    *I never drank anything grape flavored again (my parents told us that it was poisoned grape Kool-Aid).


    May 18th 1980 – Mount St. Helens erupted

    This spectacle of Mother Nature’s might…gave me nightmares for months. In trying to help, my brother made it worse by telling me that we didn’t have volcanoes..that only a Tidal Wave could ‘get us’ (ah, the flawed wisdom of an older brother). I still have nightmares of Tidal Waves.


    I think part of the reason the eruption filled me with such dread…was my connecting it in my mind to the eruption of Vesuvius and the destruction of Pompeii. The thought that we were all soon to be covered in ash and turned to stone.


    Dec 8th 1980 – John Lennon Murdered

    This was the first time I felt my soul ache. I remember both of my parent’s crying during the news report.


    Family/personal trauma took over most of the rest of the 80’s…but, the Challenger Explosion and Hurricane Hugo stand out as ‘newsworthy’ events that I remember. And, of course, though an adult, the horrors of 9/11 will forever be seared into my mind (and soul). There are actually several ‘moments in time’ that are frozen in my mind from that day…and the days that followed. As far as singular events (in ‘recent’ history) go, imo, the ones that shocked us to our core and captured the minds of the nation (and the world) most completely were Pearl Harbor, the assassination of JFK and 9/11. While there have obviously been many other ‘memorable’ events (globally), those three (again, imo) are the ones that most stunned our nation and provided a near universal shock.

    Great diary topic DTOzone…got me a’thinkin.  

  9. Anyone have a recipe for crow? The Tigers disappointed me. What am I complaining about? The year started out with the Red Wings in the Stanley Cup finals. The Pistons made the playoffs. The Tigers missed the playoffs by losing a tie-breaker game. The only bad team we’ve got is the Lions. Things could be worse.

    But, seriously, does anyone know how to cook crow?

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