Though Neil Armstrong died on 25 August 2012, it seems as if many people “forgot” it. When a badly phrased headline appeared at ABC news, talking about the one-year anniversary of Armstrong’s death, many people thought he’d died in 2013.
While some may have been busy a year ago, and missed the initial obituary, many others are clearly fans and followers of Neil Armstrong’s legacy. How were their memories “wiped” so his 2013 death was forgotten? That question was raised by many people, including David Emery at About.com’s Urban Legends topic.
Many people — including me — remember Billy Graham’s funeral on TV. My own memories placed Graham’s death close — within weeks, possible a month or two, at the very most — to the time when Ted Kennedy died. I remember that the weather was warm in New England.
At the time, I didn’t think Billy Graham’s funeral was especially odd. I didn’t watch much of the funeral and burial coverage, but I can remember flipping through TV channels, and seeing most networks carrying the event. I remember thinking, at Ted Kennedy’s funeral, “Wow. We just had lots of shows pre-empted by Billy Graham’s funeral. I guess that kind of coverage has become standard.”
I clearly remember the funeral, and related TV coverage for several days.
Apparently, this “memory” is prevalent… perhaps more prevalent than the Nelson Mandela ones. I’ve actually argued with a friend because she was 100% certain that Billy Graham had died. She, too, remembered the funeral on TV. It took Wikipedia to prove that we both had odd, completely identical memories… that never happened. Not in this timestream, anyway.
Many readers have their own memories of Billy Graham’s death, funeral, and burial. Mostly, they recall the TV coverage.
And — like me — most are entirely certain they aren’t mixing it up with Billy Graham’s wife’s funeral, which had some coverage on TV news shows. (Ruth Graham died in 2007. Ted Kennedy passed in 2009. That’s not close enough for me to connect in my memories.)
Tamara Thorne said:
I don’t have any recollections about Mandela, but do have pretty clear memories of Billy Graham’s death.
Marna Ehrich said:
wait, wait, wait… Billy Graham is alive??? since when? I remember his death, but not his coming back …
Margaret’s comments included:
… I also remember Nelson Mandela’s funeral and the deaths of Billy Graham, Dom Deluise, Ernest Borgnine and Mickey Rooney. It’s all very interesting.
Billy Graham for a surety. I test it on my mother and asked her, “You remember Billy Graham dying right ?” To which she replied “Yeah he died from Alzheimer’s.” When I informed her that he was still in fact alive she said, “Oh well then he was in hospital from it”.
Jeff said (in March 2012):
So Billy Graham didn’t die? I distinctly remember hearing about his death! I really can’t be sure about Mandella though I did think he was dead, I remember hearing about Ernest Borgnine dying, but he is still alive apparently!
[In a later comment] Thinking about it some more, I distinctly remember seeing Billy Graham’s funeral procession on TV!
Billy Graham is dead,yes? if not, please provide a link, i remember him passing about a year or two ago, as does my wife.
My mom and I both also “remember” Mandela dying in prison as well as Billy Graham dying soon after retiring.
i do believe i heard about billy graham’s death.
Interesting on so many levels. I am in the same boat in regards to Mandela, Billy Graham, Australia!, 52 States (I am European),etc, etc.
I just last month had a discussion with a friend. I swore Billy Graham died and I watched his funeral on TV and so many people in tears and the sadness of such a great man being laid to rest and being honored by the Presidents and I even remember Bill Clinton speaking words in his honor…my friend said I was crazy. I asked my mother and she remembers us talking about his passing. I just don’t know what to think…
I also thought Billy Graham was gone, for sure, seeming to recall something with his son speaking, etc.
Running across this string via FaceBook seems so odd to me, but here I am… I remember Billy Graham dying & I was also jolted by the comment about Honduras. I have always thought it was an island also.
Kate’s comments included:
i also remember clearly the David Soule death—(i am shocked, up until I read this just now I still thought he was dead!) AND the Billy Graham death (Shocked)
Weird, I remember Billy Graham dying too….
When I first read this article, I thought you meant that some people remember Billy Graham as being still alive. After I understood, I was shocked and had to double and triple check before fully believing it. I can clearly remember the death of Billy Graham and watching an interview of his widow talking about events from his life, his evangelism, how the two met, ect, with my grandma and talking about what a shame it was that such a good man died. I asked her if she remembered any of it, and was shocked when she told me that the only thing she could remember was his wife dying a few years ago. I thought she must be mistaken until I googled it. In my timeline I can remember channel surfing and her being on television with her son no longer than a year ago. The only reason I remember is because the Grahams live close to where I was born/grew up and at the time I thought it was cool that a local family was on television.
That’s pretty wild about the TV station making a mistake like that. I mean, it’s not as if the staff would run with a major story without double-checking it, right…? And, they’re referencing CBS News, which is the central office all the CBS affiliates get their information from. So, that makes this doubly strange. It sounds like someone in the news chain had a Mandela moment, and maybe more of them did.
My friend, who I often talked about this kind of thing with years ago, pointed out to me tonight that Nelson Mandela and Billy Graham were born in the same year. Just some interesting serendipity. or is it? lol
I remember a lot of these, Nelson Mandela and Billy Graham both dying in the 90′s.
This means that there may be multiple timestreams represented here. My Billy Graham “memory” was definitely related to Ted Kennedy’s death in 2009, and others have referenced other years for Billy Graham’s death. So, if we’re “sliding” in and out of alternate timelines, we’re not all visiting the same one.
Chris provided some great details:
I am (or rather was until now!) certain that Billy Graham had died. I was only talking about him the other day in passing to my partner and we both agreed that he was a bit of a looney! I remember seeing parts of the funeral on TV and in the papers (UK Times if I remember rightly!!). It was a big deal to the Evangelicals in the States and I definitely remember there were a lot of people mourning him – it felt more like the funeral of a monarch/state funeral. There was a white sheet over his coffin with a gold eagle on it (or certainly some gold symbol) as it was carried by the bearers.
kat smith said:
Billy Grahams death puzzles me, I remember it occuring a few months before Ronald Reagans death.My mother and I sat at our little 13″ monitor in the kitchen….with flashes on the bottom screen about Billy Grahams death, in attendence was George senior to the left of Jr..Bill Clinton to the right in Blue covered chairs….the casket draped in a white cloth was paraded infront off the former presidents….as it was carried up the isle….I remember his son, widdow, and Bill Clinton speaking….it was held outdoors in NC……that day was very vivid, my mother remembers it as well..
This is a very intriguing topic. I’m among the people who don’t remember Mandela dying in prison, however I’ve encountered several people over the years who did remember his death and were just as surprised as you were. I do, however, remember the death and funeral of Billy Graham, not to mention countless other celebrities who turned out later to be very much alive. Those other celebrities could very well have been misreported deaths, as sometimes happens, but the thing with Graham is, like others commenting, I remember the funeral on TV. Maybe it was a funeral for someone else that I’m remembering, but I was just as shocked as anyone to learn he was still alive.
Those are the Billy Graham comments at this website, so far. If you have memories about Billy Graham dying prior to 2013, I hope you’ll share your comments, below.