Remember The Dates, If You Want To #socs

I never liked history classes, because a lot of it was memorizing dates and places. I took world history in freshman year of high school, and the teacher would give us tests where he’d have a map of Europe, with none of the countries or cities marked, and a list of cities, and you had to indicate where each city was. It was usually pretty easy if it were London or Paris. Bucharest? Not so much.

And the dates… I mean, why? Certain dates I know off the top of my head: July 4, 1776, the date the US Declaration of Independence was first signed (it took several years to get the rest of the signatures); 1066, when William the Conqueror conquered England and established himself as the first Norman King of England; June 6, 1944, D-Day, etc. But why is the date the Kellogg-Briand Pact was signed important? For that matter, who cares about the Kellogg-Briand Pact? History majors, certainly. But the rest of us? I mean, it was a non-aggression treaty written in 1928 by US Secretary of State Frank B. Kellogg and French Foreign Minister Aristide Briand, who is not the same as Aristide Bruant, the French cabaret singer that Toulouse-Lautrec drew several pictures of. Briand did, however, get a Metro station named after him.

Lautrec_ambassadeurs,_aristide_bruant_(poster)_1892
One of my favorite works of art. (Public Domain)

I didn’t do well in history, and I really don’t care.

I’ve always wanted to see Paris. When Mary and I went to The Netherlands (i.e. Holland) in 1990, we arrived on July 14, which was my grandmother’s 90th birthday and Bastille Day in France. I wanted us to get on a train and ride down to Paris for the celebration. Mary talked me out of it. She said it was too wild, and she was tired after we had just spent ten hours on a plane to Amsterdam. I doubt I’ll ever see it now, except through the magic of the Internet, which at this stage of the game is fine with me.


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This post was brought to you by the word “date” and Linda Hill, who hosts Stream of Consciousness Saturday every week. Rules and pingbacks from the contestants participants can be found at her blog.

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Author: John Holton

I'm a writer and blogger who writes and blogs about things that interest me.

16 thoughts on “Remember The Dates, If You Want To #socs”

  1. I’m sorry that you never saw Paris because..it is beautiful. I went back in 1997….my ex and I went to Aamsterdam for 3 days and then onward to Paris. We actually stayed very close to the Bastille but it was in September. It is always lovely to see the pictures from there and the places I have seen and the places I haven’t. You nev know…maybe one day you will be on that plane with your wife to Paris and can enjoy all the beauty…and avoiding the dog poop:)

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  2. I was great at memorizing dates for history class, but then I’d forget them after the test. Much more important are the things people learned and how not to make the same mistakes.

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  3. I’ve always enjoyed history, more recent history though, as having to remember so far back is my problem I guess. I can retain so many dates and facts and figures, for history class and a test, but bypass that number and everything disappears.
    🙂

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  4. Dates always tripped me up, too, John. I had to study those dates like mad. Western Civ was a nightmare.

    Too bad about Paris, but at least you’ll always have Amsterdam 🙂

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  5. I think you had the same high school history teacher I did. He was all about dates. I did not think I liked history until I took American History at a community college with an instructor who loved his subject. I did really well in his class and discovered women’s history, too.

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    1. I get the impression sometimes that history teachers really hate teaching history, at least in high school, so they make it as painful and boring as they can. If you find one that’s good, you’re in for a treat. Everyone likes certain parts of history, I think.

      Liked by 1 person

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