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.
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.
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
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