Saturday, September 20, 2008

In The Time of the Rosenberg Trial

My mother has written an interesting article about how the Rosenberg trial affected her. If anyone is studying the 50's and the Cold War, you might want to read it. Here is an excerpt:

In those days, when I was about 10 or 11 years old, my family’s television set was still pretty new. I remember watching the McCarthy hearings and the comedians’ imitations of them. I sort of got the idea that “Communists” were bad but even that concept was mixed up in my 10 year old brain. I remember my Mom saying once that she was going to write to her congressman and I wondered why she would write to someone who was an enemy of America. Obviously, I got the two terms confused.
~History and Ordinary Lives, Inner Elder

It made me think about how, when we watch or read the news, we don't always explain what is happening to our children. We assume they won't understand or that they are too young to be troubled by world events. But even as I read my mother's story, I thought about times growing up when I was scared or depressed about something I heard on the news. I think I spent most of my teen years thinking I had no future because some hot-headed nation was sure to start a nuclear war and NY would be one of the first to go. It never occurred to me to talk about my fears.

I had a taste of this from the parent side recently, when the news ran a story about the world ending at 3am because the Large Hadron Collider was being turned on. This was very upsetting to Chase, and my husband and I had to spend some time calming him down about it. It is hard to avoid exposure to the news. In our age of information, I must remember that children do hear news and discussions. It is important to be aware that they don't always process the things they hear as we do. They need to know that we will always do our best to keep them safe.


Purpleflowerpatch said...

That's a great observation!

Jessica said...

This is very true. I had a lot of scare and anxiety during my childhood years. I remember the year 2000 scare that there would be no power and nothing would work anymore. I worried that my life as I knew it would be over on that date. I have actually spent time explaining things like this to Emily just so she isn't wondering. But I don't know how much she thinks about but doesn't tell me. Something I will try to notice and think about more.

Inner Elder said...

Thanks for your comments, Tina. When you homeschoolers are covering a specific topic in 20th century history (sorry, we old timers don't go back much before that!) ask older relatives and friends what it was like living as an ordinary citizen during those times - WW 2, the depression, Civil Rights, Vietnam, etc. Books can only tell you so much. You have the opportunity for a "living history" perspective here.
Love, Mom

Vicki said...

Great post! Missy was all excited about that Hadron Collider but in a different way then Chase. She wanted me to watch youtube clips on it. I did and learned it really was not a worry. I think living in the wilderness, we tend to feel most human type events won't really effect us as it would be a waste of the enemies ammo and such. Then events like Obama flying in cause the heavy military helicopters to circle overhead. (If they're going to crash they choose my yard to do it in. Less people.) And let me tell you, when your naked, in the shower, those heli's sound VERY menacing especially went they fly really low and circle a few times.

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