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I guess the direct answer is "past perfect", but I don't understand why. Given the following sentences:

Newsweek: It was the first time my son had ever seen a homeless person

It was the first time my son had ever given me a gift.

The moment in which my son did these actions was at the same moment in the past in which the rest of the story took place. I cannot see two points in the past, I think there is only one point. So why I should use past perfect with this expression?

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Speaking in the present you would say:

This is the first time I've eaten lobster.

This is the first time he's seen a homeless person.

There is no particular point in the past that you're referring to. Rather, you're referring to the entire period preceding the present.

When you write

That was the first time he had seen a homeless person.

you are referring to the entire period of time ending at the point in time when he saw him.

The "two points" analysis would be correct if the past perfect were being used as a "simple past in the past," But it isn't here. It's being used as a "present perfect in the past."

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