"History is the study of the past so that one can learn about their position in the present.
In other words, "How did I get here?"
Useless half-truths, dangerous generalizations, downright stupidities, isolated facts, meaningless dates, and dead heroes and villians thrown together in random fashion do NOT make history...like nuts, bolts, pieces of metal and rubber do not make an automobile."
Professor Gerhard Rempel
Western New England College
The great historian Edward Gibbon once called history little more than “The register of the crimes, follies, and misfortunes of mankind.”
Voltaire called it a trick played by the living upon the dead.
According to Thomas Carlyle, history is a “distillation of rumor” and Henry Ford said “history is more or less bunk.”
This American history is a little bit of these and then some. But one thing history is not is boring.
History is alive and human - and changing all the time.
We need to rewrite it. And we need to learn from it.
America has survived a lot: Revolution. A civil war. Two world wars. Depressions and recessions. Presidents and politicians, bad and good. A cold war that took the world to the brink of mass destruction on more than one occasion. And then a terrorist attack that shook the very foundations of the country’s security and sense of trust.
As the country begins to take its first uncertain steps into the new century, remembering America’s history becomes all the more important.
What’s past, after all, IS prologue.
Kenneth C. Davis
"What experience and history teach is this -- that people and governments never have learned anything from history, or acted on principles deducted from it."
George Hilhelm Hegel
"History is a guide to navigation in perilous times. History is who we are and why we are the way we are."
David C. McCullough
"I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided, and that is the lamp of experience. I know no way of judging of the future but by the past."
"Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it."
"History is the version of past events that people have decided to agree upon."
"History teaches us that men and nations behave wisely once they have exhausted all other alternatives."
"In times like these, it is helpful to remember that there have always been times like these."
"America was discovered accidentally by a great sailor who was looking for something else; when discovered it was not wanted; and most of the exploration for the next fifty years was done in the hope of getting around it. America was named after a man who discovered no part of the New World. History is like that, very chancy."
Samuel Eliot Morision
"History is the torch that is meant to illuminate the past to guard us against the repetition of our mistakes of other days. We cannot join in the rewriting of history to make it conform to our comfort and convenience."
Claude G. Bowers
"Bismarck, when asked what was the most important fact in modern history replied; The fact that North America speaks English."