Fandango’s Provocative Question #44

FPQWelcome once again to Fandango’s Provocative Question. Each week I will pose what I think is a provocative question for your consideration. By provocative, I don’t mean a question that will cause annoyance or anger. Nor do I mean a question intended to arouse sexual desire or interest.

What I do mean is a question that is likely to get you to think, to be creative, and to provoke a response. Hopefully a positive response.

You’re probably familiar with this quote from philosopher, essayist, poet, and novelist, George Santayana, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.“ In a 1948 speech to the House of Commons, Winston Churchill changed the quote slightly when he said, “Those who fail to learn from history are condemned to repeat it.“

So, speaking about what you remember about the past or have learned from history, how would you answer this question:

What do you think was (or is) the most significant event in the history of the human race? Please explain.

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Set It To Music

Image result for hamilton the musical

“This is crazy,” Jerry said. “Why do we need to memorize all these dates? Isn’t understanding what took place more important than when they happened?”

“Knowing when events occurred helps you build a timeline for the events, and that also enables you to gain insights into what led up to those events,” his tutor answered. “It helps you put history into perspective.”

“There’s got to be a better way than to memorize all these stupid dates,” Jerry lamented.

“Did you ever hear the song The Battle of New Orleans?” The tutor asked.

“No,” Jerry answered.

“It came out way before you were born,” she said, “but that song enabled me to easily remember when that battle took place and who fought it.” She took out her iPhone, opened up her music app, and started playing that song. They both listened to the lyrics.

In 1814 we took a little trip,
Along with Colonel Jackson down the mighty Mississip.
We took a little bacon and we took a little beans,
And we fought the bloody British in the town of New Orleans.

We fired our guns and the British kept a-comin’
There wasn’t nigh as many as there was a while ago
We fired once more and they begin to runnin’
On down the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico

Before the song ended, an excited Jerry shouted, “Now that’s a great way to learn history.”

“Hmm, it is indeed,” his tutor said.

That night, when her son came home for dinner, she sat him down and said, “Lin-Manuel, I have a great idea about how to help children learn about history.”

And the rest, as they say, is history.


Written for today’s one-word prompt, “memorize.”