Monday, April 9, 2012
Who Cares About Boring Old History?
In the 1960's and '70's it seemed that whenever anyone spoke of the future - life in the 21st century - they tended to focus on space travel, flying cars, and colonizing other planets. Rare were the thoughts of hi-tech homes. Well, except for maybe 3-D television and supper-in-pill-form ("Violet! You're turning violet, Violet!").
By the way, here's an excellent blog on the subject of what the past thought of the future.
And with all of this wonderful actual "future" that now surrounds us, history is being...um...left behind.
Or so one would think...
On the contrary, have you noticed that there certainly seems to be a lot of people "looking back" these days? For instance, last week the National Archives released the 1940 census.
Really? The 1940 census? Does anybody really care? I mean this is old stuff - 72 years old; no one is interested in stodgy old historical information, that's a plain and simple fact. In today's hi-tech 21st century technological world, who cares about boring old census information from 72 years ago? People are done with history. It's time to move on...
Well, according to CNN, on the second day of its release over 60 million people searched the 1940 census records within a three hour period.
Sixty million people.
In a three hour period.
I would say there is at least a little interest in history, wouldn't you?
Over the course of the three days during the Memorial Weekend holiday, anywhere from 28,000 to 33,000 visitors pay $17.50 (for youth) to $24 (for adults) to enter Greenfield Village to see the Civil War Remembrance reenactment. Think of it: an average of around 30,000 people pay hard-earned money to walk through the gates of this famed open-air museum to see life during the Civil War for soldier and civilian come alive before their very eyes.
That's no small peanuts, doncha know. Especially given the fact that they can see most reenactments for much less or even for free.
But we do try to give the visitors their money's worth of living history when they come to Greenfield.
There is something special - almost an immersion experience - about seeing hundreds of these 'ghosts from the past' roaming in and around structures from the same era as when the Civil War took place.
Stodgy, boring old history - no one except for a few, mostly old, odd balls are interested in it.
Heh heh heh...yeah, right...