Hard News: Memories of the news
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Being woken by my mother, to be told that JFK had been assassinated.
In respect of upcoming events, I think I will need to hide away, far from the reach of any media, when the Queen dies.
Josie McNaught, in reply to
Yes the Wahine! 3 years old and no playcentre that day for me - I had just started and was so disappointed. The noise of the wind up in Karori was incredible. I thought a plane had landed on our lawn. The Wellington Museum down here has a terrific little visual exhibition with actual footage that is so poignant... plus all those stories about the boilermakers and the federation of labour - I thought they actually ran the country not the PM - I thought boilermakers sat around boiling up kettles all day...
Memory is a tricky thing, by now every one of my memories from then is a memory of a memory of a memory ...
The one I can picture and still feels real is the moon landing. We hadn't had the TV long and I "remember" sitting right up close for the event. I think I have the newspaper from then still.
My father was a news junkie, nobody was allowed to talk when the news was on the radio so we watched most news.
I remember the pictures from Veitnam but mixed in are the pictures of the protests in the US and NZ - even though they were at different times.
That's the problem with memories, for me at least, the connections trigger different events.
Hence when I think of the moon landing I also get memories of the space shuttle launches and the Skylab/Mir docking all in one montage.
It isn't the oldest memory of mine, but I vividly recall my confusion as I turned on the TV sleepily in the morning to watch the news and thinking for some reason we had left the TV on to some channel that was playing a stupid disaster movie about some skyscraper burning ...
And then more confusion as the stupid remote didn't seem to change the channel ...
And the the dawning realisation that it was real
The Wahine storm, except in our town it was a day (or so) earlier and was the day the Primary school roof came off.
The six day war. We’d only just got a TV (so my parents told me) so the impact of Israeli artillery firing I saw must have been mightily awesome for a three year old.
After that, I don’t recall much of the Wahine storm. The moon landing was memorable because all the neighbours came over to watch it on the news and our lounge was full of adults late at night.
And I remember when Norm Kirk died, because I called my Mum at our shop to tell her and she didn’t believe me.
Earliest specific memory of a news story: 1982 Israel-Lebanon war, through pictures of tanks firing, on the 6 o'clock news at Grandpa's.
The earliest - Norman Kirk's funeral but not from the news but because we could see his entourage going to airport.
1976: John Walker winning gold in Montreal and watching it with my mother as we both jumped up and down with excitement. Mum had been a teacher and had got Peter Snell to come to her school so she had a fondness for runners.
And Idi Amin as a bogeyman, not for any specific news.
I've told this one before.
August, 1973. The lady who worked in the Remuera Primary office went home with a teacher, loaded her TV into the car and set it up on the school stage. It was a handsome thing: black, with swirly gold trim.
All 600 of us sat there on a sunny day as they fiddled with the rabbit ears to pick up the signal.
And all 600 of us watched, stupefied (it was intensely boring), as the president of a country we all dreamed of, but could never understand, announced his resignation in the face of impeachment. And they wonder why I took up media studies.
Although, I also recall hearing the end of the American war in Vietnam announced on the radio. I'm sure it wasn't the only time a kid ever asked "what will be in the news, now?"
st ephen, in reply to
It's fascinating how this exercise provides a demographic picture that wasn't apparent before.
Yep, because while there's not much difference between a 51 year-old and a 59 year-old now, there's a huge difference between a 1 year-old and a 9 year-old then. It's funny how time compresses and you catch up in age to the big kids from your childhood.
Dad had just put money into The Sunday News. Kennedy's assassination broke on a Saturday night, so the paper had a real scoop on the Sunday morning. My first real international memory.
Carol Stewart, in reply to
The Wellington Museum down here has a terrific little visual exhibition with actual footage that is so poignant
Gaylene Preston's film renders our family to tears every single time. Even hearing the music (Albinoni's Adagio) has the same effect.
I was 5, living in Edinburgh, and JFK was shot. I remember reading the front page of the newspaper - my parents never bought the newspaper but they did that day.
Carol Stewart, in reply to
My mother says that she remembers exactly where she was and what she was doing when she heard the news about JFK.
The headmaster telling the school that Roosevelt had died and making more of it than my family had over breakfast.
Very clear memories of the NZHerald front page on VE Day had the royal family pic, first time page one was not solid classifieds.
For me its the 1984 Olympics due to school projects and the USSR boycott (I would have been 8), and the Rainbow Warrior bombing the following year which - given we lived in St George's Bay road- was literally at the bottom of the street
NZ winning the rowing eight gold medal at the 1972 Munich Olympics
The election of the Norm Kirk government and the song "Big Norm"
The first oil crisis / 1973 Arab-Israeli war
Norm Kirk's death
End of the Vietnam war
LeighKennaway, in reply to
At Kowhai Intermediate School they played Nixon's resignation over the loud speaker system..... then turned it off half way through because they thought no-one was interested. I ran straight up to the school office to listen to the rest of it!
September 1972: I’m in a Youth Hostel at Te Anau and hearing on a portable transistor radio that Israeli athletes had been shot and more taken hostage in Munich at the Olympics – then the batteries died and there were no shops open to get new ones!
... I think I'd tuned in for The Goons...
The executions on the beach in Liberia following the April 1980 coup.
I'm sure there were other events I had paid attention to before that but the visual memory of that has stuck with me. Had to look it up just now to find out the details - the date and even the place escaped me - but the images and video are exactly as I remembered.
As a child of the 60’s the radio was the main medium for most of that decade. I do recall the Peter Snell Gold Medal and the Wahine disaster. Later on the Apollo landing on the moon on 10 July 1969 was it? (Looked it up was 20th of July 69)
We were told something like you will remember where you were when this happened by our teachers and I we listened to a radio broadcast in our classroom. I thought I’d do some thing so I retied the laces in my shoes so I could remember it.
I think that moon landing might have been the first TV news we saw.
Sometime in the 60s I recall standing in a shop in Waikanae and looking at a photo series of some soldiers who had been caught by the enemy. It was, I think, around three photos and it showed them pleading for their lives and then being bayoneted.
It may have been before the Wahine or it may have been afterwards. My feeling is before though. I recall the Wahine clearly. It's the first major storm I was aware of. I was picked up from school by my mother and a large tree had fallen through some shop windows in Upper Hutt. I remember my mother telling me the Wahine was sinking. We travelled to the South Island the following weekend and the water was dead flat. The Wahine was lying on its side in the harbour entrance with lights on it.
As a kid, it was the Rainbow Warrior bombing and the subsequent investigations, the ANZUS split, and the Challenger Space Shuttle disaster. The first sports story I remember well was when Ben Johnson made doping infamous at the Seoul Olympics.
The first current affairs school assignment I recall having to do was on the Gulf War, and later that year the Soviet Union collapsed.
My first "where were you when it happened" moment in adulthood was Princess Diana's fatal car accident, and I had a similar experience when 9/11 happened.
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