Monday, May 03, 2010

History Matters

On another web site (Teachpaperless) I am involved in a discussion that centers around the idea of the internet as our repository of facts and memorization. The discussion centers around whether or not prior knowledge is internal or external. A commenter brought up William Jennings Bryan's 1896 Cross of Gold speech to the Democratic convention. He referred to its bibical allusions and remarked that you could not look those up on the internet unless you knew the bible.

That reminded me of an Declaimatory oratory contest that I was in at Canisius High School in Buffalo, New York where I declaimed Jennings Bryan's speech. Though this recording of the speech by Bryan himself existed in 1968 I never listened to it because I did not know about it or found it in my research on the speech. I found it in 30 seconds with an internet search. That is power. That is why history matters!! Read the speech and listen to the recording. It connects you in ways that memorization cannot.

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