Is History Important?

Recently, I was made to wonder if ignorance concerning history is a handicap or if history just doesn’t matter. Should I be annoyed when a young person pretends to understand a period in history based on - well, I’m not sure what?

Case in point:  A college-educated young lady recently informed me that young people in the United States did not attend high school in the 1920’s and 30’s and that it would have been unusual for a young woman to attend college then. She also challenged my assertion that there were school busses during that period in time. 

Facts: In 1930, the year being discussed, 51% of U.S. teenagers, ages 14 – 17, were enrolled in high school and 667,000 of these young people completed high school that year. This same year, 48,869 women graduated from college (as compared to 73,615 men). And what about school busses?  The first school bus was horse-drawn and introduced in 1827. 

So does it matter that someone spouts “facts” that are not facts? Young people can multi-task electronically and beat the socks off of the majority of older people with relationship to technology. So, in my opinion, it does matter that said person did not use the internet and do exhaustive research before arguing opinion as fact.

The aforementioned young lady was challenging things in my book, implying that they were anachronisms. I went into defense mode, quoting my sources. The massive amount of research, done before the first words of my novel were written, made me confident that the fictional things in my story could have happened in fact. 

 “The pleasures of ignorance are as great, in their way, as the pleasures of knowledge.” ~Aldous Huxley

Well, maybe.

1930’s School Bus – from “Old Bus”


  1. The ignorant are so blessed, for they do not have to cite their sources.

    The picture grabbed me before I read a word, for during my junior year of college, I drove a school bus for a parochial school in Seattle. The vehicle was a 1933 White bus. (No, no, the bus was school-bus yellow. The make was White.)

    1. Vanilla, I had no idea you drove a school bus. The one pictured is for sale on the "Old Bus" web site. Maybe you need to get it and restore it for old time's sake. That should give you a time-consuming retirement project.