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While in kindergarten one day, I remember somebody interrupting the class and telling us that Jimmy Carter had been elected president. Shortly after I asked my teacher what a president did and was given a rushed answer, "he runs for stuff...". For the few years following I believed that the president was a marathon runner who did so wearing a suit followed by other suited runners wearing dark sunglasses.
My cousin told me there was a button in London which only the Queen could press and it would blow up the world. I prayed for a very long time that the queen would not get angry!!
I was about six or seven when Clinton was having the sex scandal, and one day I walked into the room and asked why mom was watching the news. She said that they were trying to decide whether they should impeach the president or not. I thought that impeach meant to throw peaches at a person, and like dump cans of peaches over their heads. I wanted him to get impeached so that I could watch the president all covered in peaches!
Growing up in the UK in the 80s, I thought Margaret Thatcher was married to Michael Foot, the left-wing leader of the opposition, and that all the stuff on the news about her being the Iron Lady and him being a hopeless old lefty was to do with the fact that she bullied him at home and wouldn't do the cooking and stuff.
I used to think that when a president "died in office," he was just sitting at his desk in his office and would just sorta collapse.
My best friend was called Tory, short for Victoria (although I never figured out her real name until after I moved away). When my mum told me about the 'Tory party' I first thought that it was her birthday party that I wasn't invited to. When she explained what the 'Tory party' really was I thought that my friend was really secretly their leader. Thankfully, I figured out that I was wrong before I told anyone.
I used to belive that the american flag was the california flag! i was in the 5th grade when i realized it wasent!
When I was very young, I thought that there was a new president each day. I'd repeatedly ask who it was, and thought that George Bush (the elder) must be really good at his job, since he was president seemingly every day.
For some reason, I used to think that there was a big red button in the middle of the President's desk, and if he pressed it the whole world would explode. I also didn't think it was a very well-guarded button, and I always worried that he would accidentally lean on it.
When I was a little girl growing up in Georgia in the 1970's, my Daddy told me that President Jimmy Carter was a close personal friend of his. (He was from our own home state!) Daddy convinced me that we were going to be invited to the White House, and that I was going to play in the backyard with little Amy on her swingset.
In 2nd grade, our teacher began every morning with a discussion of current events. One day she said that the topic for the next morning would be the Watergate hearings. That night I asked my mom what Watergate was, and she replied "It's a dirty trick by the Democrats to make the Republicans look bad."
My teacher wasn't too impressed with my answer.
Up Until 7yrs Old I used To Think President Regan Used To Be The President Of The World.
when I was young I used to believe David Letterman was the president. I mean, he was always on TV at night during "adult" time and he always wore a suit and tie..
When I was in junior high (1970s), I heard that if the Equal Rights Amendment passed, men and women would no longer have separate public bathrooms. That idea haunted me for years. I would actively worry about it. I would wake up in the morning and wonder if today was the day when the restrooms at the mall would no longer be separate.
When I was a senior in college, I asked my women's studies teacher if this was ever part of the ERA. Her face got sad as she told me it was part of the misinformation put out by those who were against passage of the ERA. And I knew I had gotten an object lesson in the power of propaganda.
In Kindergarden, my teacher told us about the presidential race (Ford/Carter) taking place the next day. Imagine my disappointment and utter confusion when I woke-up the next day, turned on the TV, and did not see Ford or Carter racing around a track (a horse track specifically in my mind) to see who wins & becomes President.
Up until I was about 15, my dad had convinced me that Karl Marx was one of the Marx Brothers, I was eventually corrected by my teacher in front of the entire class.
I heard my parents talking about the upcoming elections in 1976, talking about Carter. Well, in my small world, I thought that Kotter from the tv show Welcome Back, Kotter was running for president.
Until about 1982, when I was 12, I thought that Feminism had fixed everything so that there was no more sexism. I was assured by my parents that it didn't matter that I was a girl, I could do anything, because the world was feminist now.
And then when the Equal Rights Amendment didn't pass, imagine my surprise and horror. And then gradually getting to see and experience painful sexism especially after puberty! Moving to Texas sure didn't help.
I also thought some vague hippielike partner to "Feminism", which took place in "The 60s" had fixed racism as well. I don't think I ever heard of the actual civil rights movement until I was at least 12 or 13. Nor did I know of any other feminist movements until maybe late high school.
When I was about 6 I thought the President got to be President because he was the best human being there was in the whole country and that an election was some kind of beauty contest for men. When the word "Watergate" kept getting mentioned on the TV news I thought it had something to do with a dam (perfectly logical assumption for a 7 year old kid) but when I asked "What's Watergate?" all I got for an answer was " The President told a lie." Somehow I got the notion that if you were President and you told a lie you would have to be killed for the punishment, or sent to jail forever. It took an amazingly long time for me to be completely disabused of this belief; now I take it for granted that the President will always lie because it's what Presidents always do, and what's more, they will always get away with it.
We were Catholic growing up, and I thought everyone was. When I heard that Kennedy was the first and only Catholic President, I just couldn't belive that then-President Reagan was not a Catholic. It freaked me out.