While Thomas Jefferson was in Paris as the American minister to the French Government he wrote to encourage his friend George Wythe, the Speaker of the Virginia legislature. He said, “Preach, my dear sir, a crusade against ignorance; establish and improve the law for educating the common people. Let our countrymen know… that the tax which will be paid for this purpose is not more than the thousandth part of what will be paid to kings, priests and nobles who will rise up among us if we leave the people in ignorance.” (Letter to George Wythe, Aug. 13th 1786)
How prophetic. How it has come to pass. Without a clear knowledge of the past how can we expect to rise above the ashes of our ancestors? We can’t!
History and historical knowledge therefore are essential to our growth, our expansion, our freedom.
“If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, it expects what never was and never will be.” ???????Thomas Jefferson to Colonel Charles Yancey 6, Jan 1816
I was troubled after reading a poll mentioned in the book The Fourth Turning (a must read) which states that history is now the subject high school students find of least interest or worth. We can’t let this happen to ourselves, our children or our children’s children!
Discover the joy of history. It won’t be found in a textbooks! Go to the original sources. Find the joy in being able to say why the event happened, the aftermath, the lessons learned or not learned and how it affects you and what you do each day. This is knowledge at its best, a joy. There is little use in only knowing a date and an event. Learn the difference between education and schooling???????these are false synonyms we us. Read a class piece of literature and begin a journey that will last your whole through.