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Old 01-24-2020, 02:26 PM
 
Location: NE Mississippi
15,243 posts, read 9,405,665 times
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An embarrassing anecdote:
My step daughter, a successful mortgage broker in her 50's, attempted to correct me when I mentioned that Abraham Lincoln was born in 1809. She smirked and said, "You mean 1909".
"No, 1809 is correct. He died in 1865". I didn't understand how she could believe he was born in 1909.
"Oh", she said, "I thought slavery was back in the 30's"


I was embarrassed for her. But later I ran into one of her old teachers, who asked about her. The teacher was pleased to here she is doing well, and said that my stepdaughter was always a "good student".
It really left me wondering about a lot of things .......
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Old 01-24-2020, 07:07 PM
 
Location: Kapolei,Hawai'i
122 posts, read 66,476 times
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Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it
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Old 01-24-2020, 08:06 PM
 
Location: 2 blocks from bay in L.I, NY
1,941 posts, read 1,560,512 times
Reputation: 3065
Default Very common!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Listener2307 View Post
An embarrassing anecdote:
My step daughter, a successful mortgage broker in her 50's, attempted to correct me when I mentioned that Abraham Lincoln was born in 1809. She smirked and said, "You mean 1909".
"No, 1809 is correct. He died in 1865". I didn't understand how she could believe he was born in 1909.
"Oh", she said, "I thought slavery was back in the 30's"


I was embarrassed for her. But later I ran into one of her old teachers, who asked about her. The teacher was pleased to here she is doing well, and said that my stepdaughter was always a "good student".
It really left me wondering about a lot of things .......
I've crossed paths with MANY people who think the same way. To be honest, I too was one of them until I starting traveling all over the country with work, over two decades ago and learned differently.

In conversing with people, I was shocked to discover many people, in different parts of the country, think that either chattel slavery is still ongoing in someplace deep in the southern states like Alabama or Mississippi OR that slavery has only recently ended there (only a few decades ago). I think what may play a part in this is the fact that Civil Rights, desegregation, and the assassination of Dr. ML King happened in recent history - there are still persons alive who were alive when these events happened. The average person conflates Civil Rights era with slavery and the Civil War era. I guess since the word "civil" is in both, that is what causes people to think of them as one and the same.
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Old 01-25-2020, 03:25 PM
 
5,829 posts, read 2,516,105 times
Reputation: 4689
Quote:
Originally Posted by Listener2307 View Post
An embarrassing anecdote:
My step daughter, a successful mortgage broker in her 50's, attempted to correct me when I mentioned that Abraham Lincoln was born in 1809. She smirked and said, "You mean 1909".
"No, 1809 is correct. He died in 1865". I didn't understand how she could believe he was born in 1909.
"Oh", she said, "I thought slavery was back in the 30's"


I was embarrassed for her. But later I ran into one of her old teachers, who asked about her. The teacher was pleased to here she is doing well, and said that my stepdaughter was always a "good student".
It really left me wondering about a lot of things .......
ouch...…….
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Old 01-25-2020, 06:22 PM
 
9,784 posts, read 9,766,823 times
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How many people are knowledgeable about many periods in American history. I suspect most people could not tell me much about these historical periods:

1. The War of 1812.
2. The Era of Good Feelings
3. The Guilded Age
3. The Spanish American War.
4. The Progressive Era.
5. The Roaring Twenties
6. 1950's.

If they don't know that it doesn't surprise me that they don't know much about the Roman Empire and the Middle Ages.
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Old 01-26-2020, 08:10 AM
 
Location: Roaring '20s
2,004 posts, read 538,087 times
Reputation: 7789
Quote:
Originally Posted by axelthefox View Post
Because Seems some don't know about much of the history or such from that time. I once put a song on the radio that was in old english and for some reason a person thought they were singing in romanian or such. I wonder why some people seem ignorant to something that happened 1000 years ago.
Quote:
Originally Posted by axelthefox View Post
Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it
Wait -- what, exactly, are we 'condemned to repeat' if we cannot identify Old English by sound?
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Old 01-26-2020, 08:30 AM
 
4,693 posts, read 3,154,292 times
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I was top of my class in high school and I am shocked at how little we were taught about history, mostly memorizing dates and treaties and that's it.

I'm not shocked at all that others don't have a good grasp of history

I love reading about different periods and countries. I watch documentaries and love how Netflix and Amazon and YouTube automatically feed me more of what I'm looking for. Sometimes I am just shocked at what I don't know. There was an Armenian Genocide? How were we not taught about that?

But, just as there is "fake news" now, anything I watch/read is tainted by the author. There's two or more sides to everything.
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Old 01-26-2020, 10:09 AM
 
Location: Roaring '20s
2,004 posts, read 538,087 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KaraG View Post
I was top of my class in high school and I am shocked at how little we were taught about history, mostly memorizing dates and treaties and that's it.
In high school in the 1980s, I took a semester of American History in 9th grade (this was a requirement that everyone had to take) and a year of Western Civilization (this was an elective satisfying a history requirement) in 11th grade. I am not at all shocked at how little content could be crammed into those three semesters.

There are only so many periods in so many years. I needed 8 semesters of English to graduate, and rightly so. I needed 4 semesters of mathematics, but took 8 semesters - as did virtually everyone who intended to go to college. I needed 3 semesters of hard sciences - but again, like most of my college-bound classmates, I took 8. Then there were various other requirements: civics, other social sciences, phy ed, music, art, froeign language, and so forth.

At the time, there were over 350 years of American history - if one covers the entire colonial period - to be crammed into less than 90 days of instruction as a freshman. That's more than three years of history per day. And since some time periods received more focus (exs: the 1770s/80s/90s, the 1860s, the 1930s/40s) it thereby followed that for some other periods, the focus was stretched even more thin. And that year in 11th grade? Well, two semesters is twice as long as one, but the totality of western civilization is several orders of magnitude more vast than American history. If even 10% of that (maybe three weeks) is devoted to the 1200 years of Ancient Rome, that's barely more than a day of instruction per century - and even that mere glance that entails a disproportionate look at a time and place that must be accomplished by ignoring some other aspects of western civilization.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KaraG View Post
I love reading about different periods and countries. I watch documentaries and love how Netflix and Amazon and YouTube automatically feed me more of what I'm looking for. Sometimes I am just shocked at what I don't know. There was an Armenian Genocide? How were we not taught about that?
Consider a history course titled Genocides of the 20th Century. Even understanding how highly specialized such a course would be, the Armenian Genocide would necessarily be covered in only a day or two. And that would be achieved only by ignoring all the genocides that occurred before 1900.

Where does it end?

Even historians steeped in history are specialists. A historian specializing in the United States of the era from the ratification of the Constitution to the eve of the Civil War is going to know next to nothing about 99.9+% of history. The field of history is so fantastically vast that it's always a trade-off between skimming a very few select events and delving deep into a highly focused period in both time and space.

Even those most curious about and well-read in history must be humbled by the vast swaths of history about which they are necessarily ignorant.
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Old 01-26-2020, 05:39 PM
 
Location: The High Desert
8,038 posts, read 4,349,807 times
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The football coach or baseball coach taught basic history (or what passed for history) in our local school. The coach was reading a week ahead of the students in some cases and was preoccupied with sport team schedules. They had a "real" history teacher who taught some electives and a couple basic classes. Most every other student was on their own. My daughter had experiences with both and had enough curiosity to explore historical topics on her own. When the movie Titanic came out she found and read the original 1912 newspaper accounts on microfilm at the state historical society. Sometimes (often, I think) you have to teach yourself in today's school environment.
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Old 01-26-2020, 10:08 PM
 
2,332 posts, read 784,369 times
Reputation: 1993
The early medieval period is known as the dark ages not because it was a really bad time to live, but because written records are scarce. They are dark because we don't know what was going on very well.

The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle is actually remarkable for that period because it is one of the few written works that survives. After the Norman conquest, Old English was officially suppressed and any record keeping would have been done in Norman French. Old English is really obscure from a historical perspective.

The lack of historical knowledge of the medieval period, compared to the classical period, is mostly attributable to the availability of contemporary written records from those two periods. Less is known about medieval history because less was recorded.
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