QUOTE TO REMEMBER:
“We are a people who do not want to keep much of the past in our heads. It is considered unhealthy in America to remember mistakes, neurotic to think about them, psychotic to dwell upon them.”
TIMELINE OF HISTORY:
The following is an excerpt from RAWHIDE HEROINES: OUR COWGIRL HERITAGE.
Dramatic social and political changes were occurring in the United States and the world. To paraphrase Charles Dickens: it was the best of times and the worst of times, it was a time of great change and a time of great resistance to change, a time of tremendous innovation and invention, and a time of adherence to convention with pressures for conformance. It was still a time of adventure on the Frontier, it remained a time of propriety with strict adherence to Victorian ideals in the East and much of the “civilized” U.S. The world was changing.
History always tells us about SOME-ONE’S perspective on the events of the past. Often, history is stated as an absolute — as a truth. This is the way “IT” happened. There are numerous aphorisms that tell us if we do not learn the lessons from the past, we are doomed to repeat them.
But what is history? To many of us who grew up after WWII, history was most frequently a class you were forced to take in school: American history, World history and perhaps the history of your particular state. We learned dates, events and about some famous people, mostly the men who “shaped historical events”. We often learned facts in a vacuum, they were rarely placed in the context of the entire world or the social fabric of the time. Frequently events were studied as distinct and separate occurrences, rarely placed on a continuum of events that lead from the first to the next, and so on. Many classes focused on big battles and even bigger wars: the Revolutionary war, the Civil War, the War of 1812, World War I and World War II, followed by the Korean War. And although I will not press the point, many of the leading characters were men, and many if not all of the historians writing about these famous men were male.
When Columbus was “discovering” America in 1492, did you know that da Vinci and Michelangelo were creating their masterpieces? What does this confluence of people, events and art tell you about the state of the world at that time?
TIMELINES tell us who did what — and what was happening — simultaneously around the world. It’s a way of looking at people, places and events, horizontally linking them at a specific time. It enables you and I to put our past in a unique perspective. Historians select out what they believe are the significant facts, and by their selection process, they determine which facts are significant — social, political, cultural, economic, legal, moral; there are even art and music historians.
But just exactly what facts are significant and to whom? Your answer depends on your perspective, and that depends on your point of view. We all know that perspectives and points of view can be remarkably different — even on the “same event”. Look at the PHOTOGRAPH below, read the description. Do you know what was happening in the YEAR that photograph was taken?
1911 Queen Laura McKee was flanked by her Court at the Second Annual Pendleton Round-Up. Queens of the Round-Up did not compete in the Rodeo events. Only once did the two roles combine — in 1927. But that’s another year and another story.