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News Link • History

Teaching History: Legends and Facts

•, By Gary North
Legends get printed. Legends get remembered. The truth gets buried when it is known. Sometimes it does not surface long enough to get buried — kind of like Flight 93 over Shanksville. That is the story of a burial, where there was no burial. Where were the bodies? Where was the debris?
Over a career, modern history is the most difficult of all courses to teach. The problem with modern history is simple to describe: it keeps happening. Some things are relevant. If you ignore them, the students will not understand history. So, the most relevant events of what happened recently have to be included in the narrative. But that means that you have to drop something out of the old narrative. When you do this, you must not disrupt the narrative. So, what is regarded as a crucial fact in the narrative when a man starts his career, he will find he has to drop by the end of his career. There will be more than one dropped fact. So, why was it relevant in the first place?

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