ME newbie here. Just learned about this via the main Website two days ago and I'm utterly fascinated with the topic. Realizing the number of things I have misremembered is eye-opening to say the least. This post is really long. (I’ve tried to shorten it from the first draft originally posted over at r/mandelaeffect) The reason being I feel it is important to explain how I came to so heavily rely on and trust my memory, which was not initially an inherent trait. I doubt myself all the time, in many different aspects, but the one thing I had stopped doubting over the past 15 or so years, was my memory. Since learning about ME and reading the related information, I honestly no longer know which, if any, of my memories I can trust. While I do believe in the concept of parallel universes given the science behind it, and do find anecdotal accounts rather intriguing; for me, I’m more interested in understanding how memory works and how these events can be explained using our current knowledge. I’m not at all knocking anyone who feels this phenomena best explained by shifts, dimensional jumps, time travel, etc. I do believe those things are possible, I’m just not sure they are the best explanation for every event. While I'm not one to insist I'm right in the face of evidence to the contrary, prior to the introduction to ME, I thought of my memory as my best asset, primarily due to the following: At the age of 24, my inability to pass the required higher math courses was threatening to prevent my graduation from college. I felt I had never understood the concepts, but instead had memorized the functions, which had gotten me that far. Now that I was in a higher course which relied on understanding of theory I was at a complete loss. I was referred to an educational psychologist and underwent a six hour evaluation, commonly known as an IQ test, to determine if I had a true learning disability. (The way it was determined is that a person receives different scores in different areas & a significant difference in one area, combined with other information, is indicative of a true LD.)When discussing my results with the psychologist, she strongly believed I had indeed memorized the math versus understanding it, as my score in the area associated with mathematical skills was 74 while my memory score was 167. This is when I first realized I’d spent most of my life relying more on my memory of information than truly understanding it, because my brain sees that as the quickest route to "learning". When presented with new material, I have to make a very conscious effort to internalize the information as opposed to simply regurgitating data. My memory, like many others’, works much like a VCR (I'm showing my age here), in that it records more than just the information. When recalling a conversation or event, I recall things unrelated to the main subject, such as where we were, what one was wearing, the weather, etc. For info read in a book, I see the words as they appeared on the page. Just like a VCR tape, things get "recorded over" and I do forget things. In a library I'm forever trying to recall if I've already read a book, but all I have do to determine that is open a random page & read a random sentence & I will instantly remember if I've previously read it. Because of the way my memory works, I am not easily swayed by reading or hearing others' accounts of certain events; however, I do know how easy it is for one’s memory to be altered just by reading or hearing about another person’s memory of the same events. So, before further exploring the common misconceptions in ME, I felt it important to put some system in place in order to accurately evaluate my memories without interference. The first thing I did to make a list of the most common topics as listed on the Website (http://mandelaeffect.com/major-memories) and jotted down my recollection before I read any further on any topic. Then, when reading the blog entry of a topic, I read only the initial text, just enough to get the gist of the common inaccurate memories. I did not read any other comments at that time, including those the author used as examples in the blog entries. I then questioned myself as to when, where and how I first I came upon the knowledge I thought to be true. I can now separate things I specifically remember from things I refer to as "having had an impression of". These are things I thought I knew, but have no specific memory of when or how I gained the information. Impressions: Mandela: Died in prison & his wife became President. I remember thinking how awesome it was for SA to have a female president but I have no date, location or other frame of reference for this "memory". Billy Graham: is really confusing. Sometime between August & Nov. 2014, my mother was very excited about an upcoming broadcast of Graham’s. I commented that I thought he had died at least 10 years ago but apparently he hadn't yet. Then he did die, in late November 2014, shortly after the broadcast. I commented that wasn’t it nice his last act was this broadcast so many people seemed to greatly enjoy. Just yesterday as I was reading the comments of people inaccurately recalling his earlier death, I was reading them with the absolute certainty that everyone knew he had recently died, and that is what had prompted the discussion in the first place. The phrasing and wording gave no other impression. In writing this very paragraph I went over to Wikipedia to get the exact date of his death and according to them, the guy is still freakin' alive. I officially give up on the undead. Vivid Memories Chartreuse: I learned the word for the color chartreuse from the crayon label of the crayon that was a deer purplish-red. For a time, a friend and I thought the word was funny and ran around calling things "chartreuse" whenever we could. Before seeing the ME Website, I had never in my life seen anything labeled chartreuse that wasn't this color. I had never before even seen the color of the yellowish-green that is purportedly chartreuse. I have no idea how to explain this. Locations of Hong-Kong, Korea, Japan & New Zealand: I have a very clear image in my mind of where these are on a map and they are the only places not where I think they are. I have cousins in Australia I first met in 2000. I have since researched the price of flights many different times, and in doing so, was always faced with the choice of flying east or west. Western flights left California with a layover in Hawaii. Eastern flights left Atlanta, Miami or New York with a layover in Hong Kong. This made sense because Hong Kong was west of Indonesia, kind of in the middle of the Indian Ocean. The same cousins often holiday in Vietnam and Japan, in fact they've just returned. It’s a short trip for them because Japan is right in between Vietnam & Taiwan. NZ has always been to the NW of AU. Though I'm chalking this one up to poor education as the U.S. is known to suck at geography, I'm still rather disoriented. The Bears: Oh, the friggin' bears. I’ve worked with children since I was eleven years old. In addition to babysitting, I’ve worked in child care facilities, been a private nanny, and was a substitute elementary school teacher. I’ve worked with children for more than 20 years combined, most of which was before I had my own child 10 years ago, and I've read those books hundreds of times. My child had several of the books among her favorites to request I repeatedly read and loved the show on PBSKids. Every day she would watch it and I’d hear the song pronounce the name as "BerenSTAIN" and I would note how odd they pronounced it, but noticed or questioned the spelling. One day I was sorting her bookshelf and just sort of suddenly noticed the spelling was "stain". It really freaked me out at the time and I remember looking at all of the books the next time we were at the library, and they were all “stain”. I mentioned it to the librarian who commented that she too had previously thought had thought it was “stein” and that they had to spend so much time re-sorting the books and helping people find them that they finally gave up and just put half under “stain” and half under “stein”. I know there are several offered explanations but none of them really make much sense to me. Tiananmen Square: This is the one that really freaks me out. Does anyone remember anyone other than Tank Guy being run over by tanks? I so clearly recall this. I know exactly where I was, how old I was, the chair I was sitting in, the TV I was watching it on, etc. I even wrote an essay about it for one of my first college classes in 1990, which includes my current recollections. My memory is of a wide street full of people, the tanks lined up two by two, slowly rolling toward the crowd which didn't move until the first wave of people were crushed. The newscast I was watching immediately switched back to the anchor who stated that people had just been killed and warned viewers of graphic material. A graphic material warning was put on the screen and when the feed came back up, the protesters were running & screaming. The soldiers/police were beating protesters with batons, people were dragging injured people out of the way and the tanks just kept going. I remember it all extremely clearly, but the tanks not stopping are what still evoke a visceral reaction. To this day, just reading or hearing the words “Tiananmen Square” instantly recalls that memory and the feeling of overwhelming sadness and sickness in my gut. If it wasn't Tiananmen Square, is there another event around this time period I am confusing? Was there any other protest in which tanks ran over people on live TV? I remember the Gulf Wars & watching the U.S. Tanks topple the statue of Hussein, but I don't recall anyone being run over by tanks.
TL;DR: a long background on my memory and events I misremember