First election you paid attention to

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Alcott, Nov 5, 2012.

  1. Alcott

    Alcott
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    The first election I gave any attention to was in 1968. I don't remember '64 or any 'off-year' or local elections before '68. But by then I was in the 4th grade, so it was hard to miss all the talk about it that year, and I wonder if I had started school just one year earlier I would remember '64.

    Anyway, the year before in April everybody was talking about the King assassination, and there was confusion in my class as to who he was. Some said he had been President and some Vice President. Our teacher just tried to explain, "No he wasn't President or Vice President-- but he was a great leader." Then there was the RFK assassination in June, after school was out, and I was getting the idea that assassinations were 'common,' especially when we are going to elect a new President.

    I don't really remember news about the conventions that summer; just that as school went on in the fall, some were saying, "Don't vote for Nixon-- he'll make you go school on Saturday." I don't know where that idea came from. Then one guy heard that and he added, "But what about Humphrey? He'll make you go to school on Sunday." That year was the first year of full integration for our school district, I should probably add. But we didn't really understand the racial issues; like before we didn't understand who MLK was. We tool 'votes' in the class, and Nixon won big. I think the only ones who voted Humphrey were the 4 black students (of 33 in the class, AIR) plus 1 or 2 others. My family were Democrats, but I saw that it was more the trend to vote Nixon, so I did. Then on Election night-- Nov. 5, 1968-- I saw Nixon was going to win, and I remembered that "make us go to school on Saturday" thing, because my younger brother had also heard that and seemed to believe it. He asked out loud, "Are we gonna have to go to school this Saturday?" and our dad said, "Now, the President doe'n't have anything to do with that. If you heard anything like that, just don't worry about it." Meanwhile, with Wallace winning several states, I got the idea it was normal for there to be 3 major candidates. Some kid in 1980 would not have gotten that same idea, because John Anderson did not win any states. But it was several more years before I understood how Wallace won states, as well as the history of race relations and Vietnam and all those very divisive issues for the time.

    Does anyone else have a first election story about perceptions, misunderstandings, et al?
     
  2. ktn4eg

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    This isn't EXACTLY about POTUS elections, but the first time my mind was focused on ANYTHING having to do w/the POTUS was way back in the middle 1950's when (can you actually believe this??!!??.......) my 4th grade PUBLIC SCHOOL teacher one day stopped our class after going over the current "Weekly Readers" (Anyone here on BB remember them?) to tell us to stop whatever we were doing & bow our heads to & pray to God that He would heal Pres. Eisenhower from the effects of a very serious heart attack that was the "Headline Story" in that week's WR!!

    Things have sure changed in our public schools today! If there's any prayers being said today in many of them, it's for protection from being shot at & murdered (Like one of my church's cousins---a pregnant 4th grade teacher who was killed because she shielded her students from a deranged teenager who opened fire on a PS playground.)

    (Sorry.....Didn't mean to inject that into this thread thread.)

    As to the OP, my earliest recollection of being involved w/ a POTUS election was that of the 1964 Goldwater campaign. I even had a chance meeting w/ one of BG's running-mate's (Bill Miller of NY) daughters @ the NYC '64 World's Fair.

    In a round about way (2 complicated 2 go into here), it was because I ran into some born-again believers involved w/ the Goldwater '64 campaign that led me, 2 yrs later, to trust Jesus Christ as my Savior!!

    The 1st POTUS election I actually voted in was in 1968. Won't tell you for whom I voted, but it wasn't anyone whose last name started with an "H" or an "N." :smilewinkgrin: :tongue3:
     
  3. saturneptune

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    First election I knew the candidates and issues was the Kennedy Nixon election.
     
  4. Winman

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    Yeah, I remember the Kennedy Nixon election in the first grade.

    The first election I voted was in '72. I voted for Nixon.
     
  5. Oldtimer

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    The first election that I have any memories of was -- I LIKE IKE. I don't know, now, if those grainy B&W TV images that I remember were viewed in real time or from re-runs later.

    Next, I remember being bored stiff when my parents watched the conventions when I was a kid. They were on ALL week. With only one TV in the house and my parents firmly in control of that dial, it was shut-up and watch or go to bed. -- Side note: We need a heck of a lot more of that today. --

    Remember going to a George Wallace rally.

    Remember Barry Goldwater.

    Remember the day John Kennedy was shot. -- School PA system announcement that we were to leave quietly at the end of day as a sign of respect at the death of our President. --

    Remember, finally, becoming old enough to register to vote. It was 21 back then. Thus, I also remember some of the battle to change it to 18.

    That's a few election memories that come to mind. There's more, but I'll save them for another day. :flower:
     
  6. InTheLight

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    I vaguely remember the Goldwater/Johnson election. I do remember the 1968 election. I remember when RFK got shot it was during the last week of school and I heard about it getting ready for school in the morning. The networks kept saying they would have film in "just a short moment" so of course I waited for them to show it. I ended up being late for school and didn't see the footage until I got home and watched the evening news.
     
  7. TCassidy

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    General of the Army Dwight D. Eisenhower (R) verses Illinois Governor Adlai Stevenson (D), 1952. And every one since than.
     
  8. Earth Wind and Fire

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    Jackson v Adams...LOL
     
  9. Crabtownboy

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    The same here TC. I became interested in that election during the conventions. That was back in the days when the convention really meant something and were important. There was drama. There was suspense. There were great speeches. It was a whole lot more fun than now.

    I used to believe that choosing a candidate in the "smoke filled back room" was a terrible system. After the last three campaigns I have decided the primary system is worse and that we should return to the "smoked filled back room" system.
     
  10. Andy T.

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    I can remember bits and pieces of 1976 (6 years old) - I remember my Mom and Dad watching the election night results on our little black and white TV, and they were sad that Carter was winning. I remember my Dad saying something like "Carter is all smile and no substance." Boy was he right about that.

    But 1980 would be the first election that I had at least a cursory understanding of the issues.

    Call me a Reagan conservative from the start.
     
  11. mont974x4

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    1980 Reagan VS Carter
    I was 6 years old. I remember listening to my folks and their friends constantly talking about what a mess Carter had made of our country and how different Reagan was in his clarity of describing our hard times, his optimism for the future, and the greatness of our nation. Of course, most of our family friends were Marines. My dad did not retire until '81.
     
  12. ktn4eg

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    I also remember hearing abt JFK's assassination. For me, it was early in my Sr. year in HS. Our principal came over the school's PA sys to break the news to us. One of my classmates said that since JFK was young, that he'd pull through & be OK. As we later found out, that wasn't the case.

    Then I recall being glued to the old B&W TV set to watch reporter after reporter blame "the atmosphere in/around Dallas was the REAL killer"!! ("Fair & balanced," obviously, wasn't in their lexicon in 1963!!)

    The 1st election that I could legally vote in was the 1968 one. I couldn't attend any rallies for anyone because back at that time I was in the USAF @ Ramstein Air Base located in what was then called WEST Germany.

    I, too, remember the battles over trying to pass/ratify the 26th Amendment that lowered the voting age to 18. The proponents would tell the world, "If a person is old enough to fight & die in Vietnam, then he/she is old enough to vote for the POTUS!!" (NOTE: The 26th Amend. was finally ratifed in 1971, making the 1972 POTUS election the 1st one that [nation-wide anyway] 18 YO's could vote.)

    Not sure that lowering the voting age to 18 really resulted in improving the QUALITY of the men who held the POTUS office, but then, @ least, it probably didn't result in giving us any WORSE POTUS's either.

    As a sidelight, I also remember reading somewhere where some "date-setter" predicted that, since "no nation in modern history that rejected God lasted more than 200 years, that the USA would no longer be around as 'a nation that would have any impact on the world as we know it,' something 'very, very significant' would happen in the US before the year 1976 would come to an end!!"

    Well, "born-again, SBC SS teacher" Jimmy Carter WAS elected POTUS in 1976.......Maybe his election to POTUS was what this modern-day prophet had in mind!! :laugh: :smilewinkgrin:

    ...........................................................................................................................Either that, or maybe it was the advent of his brother's "BILLY BEER"!! :tear:
     

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