Just some thoughts:
I taught school for about fifteen years. Among other subjects, I taught history. American more often than not and all the way from junior high students to high school.
In teaching history I seldom asked students to remember dates. I did want them to be able to put events in some logical order, no the Korean War was not before WW II.
There were two dates I did ask kids to remember. July 4 1776 and June 6th 1944. I felt those were two of the most important dates in American history. If I was teaching today there would be another time I would add. Following the unconditional surrender of Germany at the end of WW II it was necessary for the Big Three, Russia, England and the United States to come to some kind of agreement about what now to do with Germany.
From that ending of the war a meeting took place in Potsdam, Germany at the home of a former Prince of Germany. Reason for the meeting was to decide what now to do about Germany. Quite a place it is as we visited there recently.
Why the significance and date remembrance. I feel from that meeting and what was decided that the fate of the world and millions of its people were effected forever. Certainly still in today’s world we are living with the those decisions.
Walking in this room we saw this table where they all sat.
“At the center of the room was a circular conference table 12 feet in diameter, covered in burgundy clot, and around it, evenly spaced, were fifteen chairs, five each for the three countries. The three chairs reserved for Churchill, Stalin, and Truman were immediately identifiable by their large size and incongruous pair of gilded cupids perched on the back of each.”
As we walked the grounds while there I took note of a certain outdoor location where a famous picture was taken from that time. A picture of the big three. Winston Churchill of England, Joseph Stalin of Russia and Harry Truman of the United States. They sat around this very table decisions that would effect millions of lives.
August 14, 2019