Some Thoughts on History

Post by Doris McCraw


I’m in the midst of writing a novel due to be released in January. I’m also writing a paper for the library districts history symposium. Additionally, I’m thinking of taking the nanowrimo challenge this November. 

So you may wonder why I chose ‘Some Thoughts on History’ as the subject of this post with the other projects on tap. Quite simply, I’m constantly in awe of what I find as I research and write. What history has to share with those who look is priceless. 

I’ve chosen to share the thoughts of thinkers who also have their own ideas on the subject. While we may not always agree, to know history is to know ourselves.

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“History will be kind to me for I intend to write it.” Winston S. Churchill

“If you don’t know history, then you don’t know anything. You are a leaf that doesn’t know it is part of a tree. ” Michael Crichton

“The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history.” George Orwell

“History, like love, is so apt to surround her heroes with an atmosphere of imaginary brightness.” James Fenimore Cooper 

“Study the past if you would define the future.” Confucius

“One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It’s simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we’ve been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back.” Carl Sagan

“Remember, remember always, that all of us, and you and I especially, are descended from immigrants and revolutionists.” Franklin D. Roosevelt

“To be ignorant of what occurred before you were born is to remain always a child. For what is the worth of human life, unless it is woven into the life of our ancestors by the records of history?” Marcus Tullius Circero

“If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.”  Rudyard Kipling

“The farther backward you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see.” Winston S Churchill

“For the survivor who chooses to testify, it is clear: his duty is to bear witness for the dead and for the living. He has no right to deprive future generations of a past that belongs to our collective memory. To forget would be not only dangerous but offensive; to forget the dead would be akin to killing them a second time.”  Elie Wiesel

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Some quotes are funny, some were thoughtful and others somewhat controversial. All are important, for history is who we are, and to delve into that well of knowledge is something that is precious to ourselves and those who will follow after. 

Happy reading, and enjoy your own form of creativity for you are sharing your history with the world.

Doris Gardner-McCraw -Author, Speaker, Historian-specializing in
Colorado and Women’s History

Angela Raines – author: Where Love & History Meet

For a list of Angela Raines Books: Here 
Photo and Poem: Click Here 
Angela Raines FaceBook: Click Here


24 thoughts on “Some Thoughts on History

    1. Thank you Neva, for both compliments. I confess, I do enjoy the projects.

      As you know, I’m a huge history advocate, and most of the quotes hit home. Have a great week. Doris


  1. Thank you for posting quotations. I like all of them, but the one that impresses both the teacher and the student in me is the one by Rudyard Kipling. For the most part, history is taught as laws and wars and the dates connected with them. If students heard stories about the people involved with laws and wars, they might remember better (and like the classes more). They need to hear about the lives of ordinary people, too, both men and women, to understand the times. Especially the lives of women. Robert Caro’s description of what women did to provide water for their families in the Texas Hill Country before the advent of the REA is mind-boggling. I knew life there was hard, but nothing like he wrote about. If not for those woman, white settlers would have moved on and left it shrubs and rock.


    1. You are very welcome, Kathy. I also relate to the Kipling quote. When I first started speaking in ‘character’, the feedback consistently received was, “If history had been taught this way, I would have loved history.”

      I will have to check out Robert Caro. Thank you for the added information. Doris


  2. Good luck with your current projects, Doris, they sound pretty daunting- especially adding in the NaNoWriMo. The quotes are spot on and I particularly like the George Orwell one. It’s hauntingly sad but rings so true for some nations. At school, I was taught the ‘British’ version of Scotland’s story but it’s not necessarily the version that people experienced on the streets and in the countryside at the time.


    1. Doesn’t that seem to be the way of the ‘people’s history’? I have always been drawn to the day to day stories. They are the ones that lead to a truer understanding of life.

      Thank you for the well-wishes. I’m excited, but…*Smile* The best to you on your upcoming projects also. Doris


  3. Some great quotes. They were some shakers and movers. I’m always curious about history, and my own history is always full of surprises. Thanks Doris. Hope your books progresses easily. Cher’ley


    1. Our personal history seems to have so much to offer. Here’s to more wonderful and interesting pieces to history, including our own.

      Thanks for the support, it means a lot. Doris


    1. I accomplished it once, so I guess I’m feeling it’s about time to try again. Hope you join the me on the challenge. *Smile* Doris


    1. Me also, Barb, me also. Those quotes tell so much in so few words. Should be right up their alley, so to say. Maybe some day. We can always hope. *Smile* Doris


  4. Your post makes me think back to the days when mom and I would go to Wayne County, Ohio, cemeteries and look at the graves of our loved ones, some dying before we were born (mom 1929, me in 1951). My cousin John Snyder is also a big cemetery visitors. He’s also a genealogist who has traced my mom’s side of the family back to Switzerland (they were originally Mennonites). When I first started working as a newspaper reporter in the mid-1970s, I did a feature story on the graves of pioneer families. I researched their lives and wrote about them.


    1. Mike, I enjoy cemeteries for the stories they tell of the ‘common’ folk who created out history. I admire your cousin who has taken on the role of family historian. Wow.

      The story you did for the paper, that is something I wish more people did. I know it was great. Doris


  5. Excellent post, Doris! I know how much you enjoy history, and sharing it with others. You certainly have a calling and I hope you keep pursuing it! I look forward to your novel when it comes out — please share more about it sometime!


    1. Thanks Gayle. I will share more as it comes together. I can say it’s about an older couple and it’s a Western Historical Romance.

      I guess growing up with history just makes me want to share and help others to enjoy it just about as much as myself. *Grin* Doris


  6. Wonderful post and inspirational too. I love the cemetery photos. They remind me of the long walks I would take in the cemetery close to our old house. Thanks for sharing.


    1. Thank you for the kind words about the cemetery photos. Sometimes I get lucky.

      As those who know me, History is a passion that I just have to share. Doris


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