People Remember The First Big News Story Of Their Lifetime

List Rules
Vote up the historic news stories you remember hearing firsthand.

It's hard to pin down our first memories. When we think back to our early childhood, it's often a haze of events melded together with flashes of people, places, and feelings. Arriving at that first fully formed scene where we remember the who, what, when, where, and why of what was occurring may be difficult. But for certain events, we don't have to go back that far.

History is constantly being made around us, and at a certain point in our childhood or adolescence, we become aware of it and adults' reactions to it. The events may or may not be common, but the way we experience them is personal. These are the ways some Redditors remember the first big news stories of their lifetimes.


  • From Redditor u/crys-in-studentloans:

    9/11. I remember the haunting silence from my parents as we watched.

    And Redditor u/spidermom4:

    Haunting silence? I guess your mom wasn't an over the top reactor like mine. I woke up to my mom screaming, "We're under attack!" And that was before the second plane hit.

    And Redditor u/lazytime9:

    I was in third grade and my best friend since kindergarten is Iranian. My parents loved her always but I remember the first time our fathers met when we were in high school and he told my dad that he is Christian and isn’t a terrorist. Literally said those words. My family wasn’t religious anyways but my friend’s mom always told her to tell everyone they were Christian.

  • From Redditor u/FitMental21:

    Probably Princess Diana dying.

    And Redditor u/Sandman1031:

    Same, it was all over the news for weeks. I (American) didn't know why she was important, she just was.

    And Redditor u/the_wakeful:

    I remember the little "news" magazine we had in middle school covering her death, and they even had a section on their decision to cover it for young kids. As a kid in rural America, I'm pretty sure I had no idea who she was.

  • From Redditor u/Mangobunny98:

    Hurricane Katrina. I remember them showing the stadium and talking about how people had taken shelter there and showing Bush visiting.

    And another Redditor:

    I remember a kid transferring to my first grade class because his home was destroyed in Katrina.

  • From a Redditor:

    The Challenger exploding, I was in first grade and remember it being announced over the school speakers.

    And Redditor u/littlestarbuck19:

    My kindergarten class was watching in the library. My teacher couldn’t hold it together and started crying. I think I was too young to really understand what it meant, but it seemed scary.

    And Redditor u/havron:

    Saw it with my own eyes from atop my dad's shoulders, with my mom next to us, from our backyard in Orlando. It's my earliest memory.

    I still remember their shocked gasps when the unthinkable happened. Later, my mom sat me down to explain to me what we had just seen. I understood death for the first time that day.

  • From Redditor u/TrapLordTaylorSwift:

    OKC Bombing. Came in from recess and all the teachers were watching the tv. I didn't understand any of it but I remember how sad/scared the teachers were.

    And Redditor u/Carbonatite:

    Same for me. I remember my babysitter driving me somewhere and hearing about it on the radio. I didn't realize what was going on so I kept talking and she screamed at me to shut up. I'd never seen an adult act like that before so I knew it was something really serious.

  • From Redditor u/SSDD1:

    The OJ Simpson Bronco chase. I just remember wondering why everyone was talking about somebody driving a Bronco full of orange juice away from police. Did they steal the orange juice?

    And Redditor u/SalsaCookie33:

    Same! I remember watching it on TV; my parents had it on and were very focused and I didn’t understand why. They were also referencing "juice" - I was like what?