Don't know much about History

Y’all are younger than i am. My high school history ended with the civil war, but we “learned” about the Viet Nam war in elementary school current events. The teacher held up maps showing how much territory was controlled by who. “Our” territory kept getting smaller.


You didn’t learn about Reconstruction, westward expansion, the Spanish American War, Prohibition, WWI & II, Great Depression, Korean War?

That seems… lacking for a U.S. History class (unless you are a LOT older than you’re letting on :wink:.) But if you were learning about Vietnam as a current event then your teacher skipped a lot of important stuff.

My history class stopped at the Iliad…


That’s where you were taught to never look a gift wooden horse in the mouth.


Someone else who had “current events” in elementary school! This was my favourite part of the school day. The teacher would informally discuss whatever was in the news.

I found this comforting in the Cold War years as the tv news could be frightening. It was also a good supplement to the history we learned. And I still remember talking about Gary Francis Powers in current events whereas the ancient Roman rulers are all blurred in my brain.

Do schools still do “current events”?

I remember in first grade the teacher told us that one guy had beaten another guy in the vote to become the prime minister. I was sad that one person had to lose.

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We had Tuesday Newsday where everyone was encouraged to bring in a clipping of a newspaper or magazine article that interested them and we would have a class discussion about the article.

Today, kids wouldn’t know what those words meant.

This made me remember a little more.

When I was a kid, my folks subscribed to the Detroit Free Press. The paper came about 9 pm. I was still up, reading the comics was a wind-down evening activity. As I got older, I read more of the paper.

My dad subscribed to TIME magazine. I started reading the People section in 7th grade, and soon moved toward the front of the magazine.

When supper was over, my folks had the NBC Evening News on. (Huntley-Brinkley) I started listening more as I grew older.

My introduction to news was mass circulation stuff as selected by my folks.

Today, I imagine parents getting their news on their personal screens while their kids are off doing entertainment stuff. If the kids see news on TikTok it’s likely to be narrow and whatever some algorithm pushes at them.


TikTok: the new parents.


I watched the US evening news more than the Canadian news: shunting between Cronkite on CBS and Huntley-Brinkley on NBC. They were all superb.

We had a 30 foot tv tower on our farm that pulled in Rochester, Buffalo and Watertown stations as well as Toronto, Kingston, Peterborough and Ottawa. There always seemed to be lots to watch before cable tv…


Lucky. I got three Network stations and PBS on UHF.

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We certainly had a lot of material on “westward expansion”, but almost all of that happened before the civil war. Even today, it’s hard to get excited about the Dakotas. I lumped Reconstruction with the civil war. And WWII, the Great Depression, and the Korean war were stuff my parents remembered, they weren’t really “history” yet.

But no, our textbooks were old and didn’t cover prohibition or the great war (to end all wars), which i mostly learned about from English class and other literature, until i studied European history in college.

Good Lord. I recall there being a photo of Ronald Reagan in my 5th grade textbook and he was still President at the time!

I mean WWI must have been a few decades before you started school. How old were these textbooks exactly?

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50 year old texts? that’s crazy

The school board has to save money someplace if they want to make sure the football team has nice uniforms. :roll_eyes:


those leather helmets were pricey


If they didn’t even cover the Spanish American War then they were considerably older than that.


I remember a math teacher complaining about our 10 year old textbooks because they were in poor condition. And rather than buy new, the district wanted to have them rebound over the summer, which she thought was unacceptable.

I was like, uh, I think it’s more important to have newer history and science textbooks than math. The math hasn’t changed. Rebound copies are fantastic. (It was a decent textbook IMO, and her complaint didn’t appear to be that the textbook was bad, just that it was old.)

I can’t even begin to imagine her reaction to 70+ year-old textbooks!


They were old, but i don’t think they were 50 years old. I think they agreed with the theory that

So i think WWII would have been intentionally considered too recent even if we’d had new books.

We only had rebound books in English class, i think. Some of them had been rebound so many times that they were missing the last page of the story, and we had to pass around our books so everyone could read it.

Our science books were up to date, and supplemented with other materials in the AP classes.

But if you hold the theory that “history” can’t be too recent, you may not feel the need to update your history texts all that often.

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i thought you were my age, i guess i was wrong

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