I was in high school in the early 1970s. In every history course I had as a public school student, the school year miraculously ended before we reached the Depression. I never had a single lesson about World War II.
We had an excellent American history teacher in junior high school. He taught us about finding primary sources to study. He had us re-enact the Lincoln-Douglas debates and argue the Dred Scott decision. But we just barely covered World War I — and look, here’s June!
I have always wondered if our history teacher, like my father, was a WWII vet who just was not willing to discuss the war. Or perhaps it wasn’t history to him, it was just his life, and a very unpleasant part of his life at that.
I started learning about WWII from BBC productions on public TV stations, while I was in graduate school, and then later the “Hitler Channel”.
Do they teach WWII in school now? Have we finally gotten far enough from it for it to be history? Or does the school year still miraculously run out around the time the textbook reaches 1920?
And if the school year runs out too soon to cover most of the 20th century, is that a good thing or a bad thing, given the progressive slant in our public education these days?
I still think we’re big and smart, and I know we’re human, so yes, I believe we’ll muddle through. There’s always the History Channel, and books, and primary sources.
PS: This is sort of a housekeeping day, obviously. I’m airing all the stuff that has been on my mind recently. Also, it’s snowing — again — so maybe I’m indulging a nostalgic, regretful mood.