Henry Ford may have believed that “history is bunk”, but most people at most places and most times have disagreed with him. History is a record of people, and peoples – who they were, what they did, and why. History tells stories of courage and cowardice, of selfishness and selflessness, and of victory and vanity. Descendants discover who they are, why they are, and what they should do, from their ancestors. As such, history is the record of the universe.
People who pride themselves in science, technology, engineering, and math often disparage history, forgetting that the historical record of discoveries past provides the foundation for discoveries present that will launch us into discoveries future. No one need repeat the experiments of Pasteur or the thinking of Einstein because we have the historical record of what they did.
Celebrating accomplishments of those who have gone before us is important, and fun. Children thrill to stories of David and Goliath, and teens wonder at the work of Galileo and the Wright brothers. Families can use history to provide examples, teach lessons, and build a sense of identity.
- On each day of the year, know what happened that day. Pick things that are important to your family and friends to celebrate.
- Learn more about the people and the event.
- Make the celebration real with food, music, costumes, related stories, and the symbols of the people involved (flags, coat of arms, etc.)
- When you can, travel to the places where these events occurred.
Learn about history, and enjoy it. Your life, and that of those you love, will improve as a result.