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as a child I beleived that if you had "united" in the name of your country you couldn't be involved in a war.... where I got this from I'll never know... but I recall watching the news with my parents and there was a foreign country with "united" in its name (no clue now which one) and I remember smuggly saying well they are united so they can't go to war. My parents swiftly corrected me and through the entire 80's I rarely slept the night thru due to thinking we'd launch into a nuclear war at any moment. ignorance is truly bliss i suppose....
When I was very little I used to believe that when someone was running for president, the two people running were at one side of the basketball court and raced to the other side and the winner of the race became president.
Because they had the same initials, I used to get Winston Churchill and Wilt Chamberlain (a tall, African-American basketball player) mixed up.
I used to think that -then- president Jimmy Carter had always been the president and always would be. Kinda like a family member.
Watching the news, during the 70's, my dad would always say, among other things, "goddamn communists!". I asked him what a communist was and he told me they think everyone should make the same wages and nobody can get rich. I couldn't see what the problem was.
I was 6 when JFK Sr. was killed. I thought the President lived under the dome of the capitol building. Sitting there in the center his President chair. Nothing else in the room. I couldnt understand how oswald got past the guards, climbed up the outside of the building, thru the large arched glassless windows and shot the President.
I was very little when President Nixon's Watergate scandal happened. My father sat me in front of the television and said "Darling, this is history you need to watch. Our president has been very bad and he's going to get impeached"
I was about three so I thought that they were going to lock Nixon up in a giant peach and I got very upset. I had heard about Peter-Peter Pumkin Eater's wife and I didnt think locking people up in vegatables was nice.
When I was 5 or 6 my mom would watch game shows all day. Then when Nixon was having his problems she must have watched a lot of the hearings. I remember thinking that our President was on a game show called Watergate?
I was about three years old, and Roosevelt and Dewey were running for
president. All of the adults in my life were voting for Roosevelt. A
slogan of his campaign was, "Keep Roosevelt in; keep Dewey out." I had
visions of this poor man, going from door to door, maybe in the rain,
trying to get inside somewhere. I thought that if he came to our house
I would let him in. I used to say, "I'll let Dewey in." My adults
laughed and thought that was funny.
When I was about 7 or 8, I started hearing people call JFK, "Jack," instead of, "John," like I'd always heard before. I knew he had a brother, but at the time I didn't know his name, so I just assumed that Jack was the brother. I think I even commented that it would have been funny if Jack had married Jackie. Little did I know...
I used to think running for president involved actually running somewhere.
I believed the Frank Prudue of chicken fame and Ed Koch, former mayor of NYC, were brothers.
And my mom told me it was true. She still laughs about it.
When I was in the fourth or fifth grade I learned that The Washington Post was considered the authoritative newspaper regarding politics and the government. I thought the paper was in Washington state, not Washington, D.C. I never understood how a newspaper way out west could be considered the authority on the federal government in the northeast. That misunderstanding persisted until I was in high school.
I used to believe that there weren't any private quarters in the White House. That is, that the president and his family actually lived in the big ballrooms and such.
I used to believe that everyone in the United States voted using electronic voting booths of the style used here at home (in central New York state). In fact, I believed this until the 2000 presidential election, and was flabbergasted to learn it was not true!
I used to think the the whitehouse was right off the highway near my house, I live in Wisconsin;)
I used to believe that the loser of the Presidential election became the VICE President.
Back when President Bush Sr. was in office I had to be about 5. I remember my dad was watching him make a speech on TV and he started laughing. I asked him why he started to laugh at Bush and he told me, "No reason, he's just a good man." So everytime Bush said something (Even though I had no clue what 'Desert Storm' was or even the 'budget') I laughed at him becuase I thought it would make him more chairismatic....
as a small child in the early seventies, i was desperately aware of shortages and the need to understand our resources: gasoline, climate change, CFC's, water (we lived in southern florida), solar cells, recycling, all these things blended together for me. When I heard that Nixon and Brezhnev were getting together for S.A.L.T. talks, I was astonished: i couldn't imagine that scarcity exteded to salt as well. I asked my father on the way to school that morning why salt was so inexpensive , seeing how it's so scarce. He fixed me with an odd little look, and then said that there was plenty of salt to go around. Well, why are they making such a big fuss and having salt talks then?" I asked, exasperated as only a small child can be. I give my father major parent-points for not laughing in my face there and then. Instead, he explained that it stood for Strategic Arms Limitation Talks.
When I was a child we listened to the radio for our news, and I remember hearing several times about how President Truman was having a Steak Dinner for visiting royalty. I knew steak was pretty scarce in our house so that would have been a nice treat. Of course, now I know he was hosting STATE Dinners for people.