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Americans' Lack of Education in History Is a Worry .

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by jlai, Oct 1, 2011.

  1. Karina1974

    Karina1974 Well-Known Member

    That's true. I have 10 1st cousins on my father's side. 8 of them were born between 1959 and 1965 (at least one every year, 2 in 1962), and all of their parents were kids during the war.

    An even more oddball generational cross is the fact that I recently found out that my almost-72-year-old dad has a 16 year old 1st cousin. Yep, this kid's father was born in 1920, and was my paternal grandmother's youngest sibling. If you go by family tree, he's in my dad's generation, but by the generation definitions, he's a Generation Y.
  2. emason

    emason Well-Known Member

    Correct, and whether their fathers fought in the war is completely irrelevant. My father worked in a defense plant making maps; he was not in the service, but I was born in 1946 and I am a boomer. It's the time period that determines if one is a boomer or not.
  3. vesperholly

    vesperholly Well-Known Member

    :rolleyes: That's reducing a generality to minutia. I said it as a rough guideline. Also, it's not irrelevant. Returning WWII veterans and the war itself ending were major causes of the boom, especially at the beginning. Certainly there were many people who were age-eligible to fight in WWII and did not, and whose children were boomers. There are exceptions to everything.


  4. emason

    emason Well-Known Member

    I was responding to Japanfan, not to you, vesperholly. Yes, the boom came because lots of servicemen returned home, but it also came because those who didn't go to war felt that bad times were over, good times were at hand and it was a safe time to start a family.

    I am not reducing anything to minutia. It's a baby boom because the population surged and tons of babies were born; what their parents did or didn't do for the war effort is totally beside the point.
  5. smurfy

    smurfy Well-Known Member

    When I was in college, I took several history classes, and the professor that taught US history was great. Older gent, always wore a bowtie, well prepared, great teacher and very kind and seemed reserved. One student that was a nerdy guy, and nicknamed 'Doonesbury' behind his back, always had to make some kind of statement to make things sound more complex etc and came across as obnoxious and a showoff. When we were discussing the baby boom, Doonesbury interjected something about economics and blah blah blah. The very proper professor stopped him short and said it was due to 'Sex'. The whole class was laughing so hard.

    I always thought when a generation was named such as Baby Boom, Gen X, it relates to the year of birth, and nothing to do with the parents.

    My dad turned 18 in Jan 46, was drafted and served in the Phillipines, and was allowed early discharge when his father died in 47, so he served less than 2 years. We learned when my father died he he was considered a WWII Era Vet, and we received a letter from the president, a flag and a cemetery stone. We were shocked he was in the classification.
  6. Karina1974

    Karina1974 Well-Known Member

    The key word there is "Era". I know someone who served in the USAF Security Service in Okinawa from 1960 to 1963. He has a jacket with a logo on the back that says "Vietnam Era Vet" even though he (to my knowledge) never served in Vietnam.
  7. PDilemma

    PDilemma Well-Known Member

    My father was a USAF MP from 1960 to 1964. He served in the UK, Spain and on U.S. bases. He is officially considered a Vietnam era vet as well, but I really doubt he would wear such a jacket as he doesn't like to make that claim since he was never there.
  8. smurfy

    smurfy Well-Known Member

    Was Vietnam ever officially declared a 'war'? I seem to remember it was not an official war, whatever that means, especially to those that gave their lives. Meaning Congress formally declares war??
  9. smurfy

    smurfy Well-Known Member


    I looked it up, and based on this, even Iraq and Afghanistan are not.
  10. Civic

    Civic New Member

    Yep. My father served in the USAF between 1953-57. He didn't see combat and never even left the US. However, he was still considered a Korean War era veteran. Which is not the same as being a Korean War veteran.

    I always assumed my two elder sisters and I (born in 1954, 1958 and 1959 respectively) were baby boomers since we were born between 1946-1960.
  11. jlai

    jlai Title-less

    Just wanna continue this discussion re: the usefulness of history...

    Last edited: Oct 13, 2011
  12. Orable

    Orable Well-Known Member

    Interesting convo...As for me, the reason I think knowing dates in history are important is because it helps the student (whether a child or an adult) link disparate events/movements together. The years 1948/1947 for example, were seminal decolonization years. They birthed Pakistan & India which is relevant today since it also birthed the "orphan" Kashmir. 1948 of course was also the year that Israel was created and the Palestinian saga started. Pakistan/India/Israel/Palestine may not all be in the same region, but their genesis was in the same 2 years and those two years were important bc they were when European colonial powers were devastated post-war and also led to decolonization and freedom for the majority of the peoples of Africa, the Middle East and Asia in the subsequent decade.

    So, 1948? In and of itself, dates are not the most interesting things to remember. But to know about the different (seemingly unconnected) events in two different regions of the world and be able to link them to a bigger global movement that happened during that time and which affects us to this day? Priceless :)

    Full disclosure: I am a history geek and nerd and freak and damn proud of it :encore:
  13. Holley Calmes

    Holley Calmes Well-Known Member

    Me too, and a lover of eras nobody probably cares about so I won't go totally full disclosure myself.

    But I will say-nothing will give you a totally different turn on history than having close friends from different countries. Puts a whole different perspective on everything.
  14. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

    Are you embarrassed about your beloved eras?
  15. Holley Calmes

    Holley Calmes Well-Known Member

    No, I just don't want to bore anybody, because I can get on my soapbox and never get off. The American Revolution, particularly in the south, is my biggie. But I love everything about the Trojan War, Minoans, and TE Lawrence. Plus more, but that just gives you an idea of how scattered my brain tends to be. :lol:
    gkelly and (deleted member) like this.
  16. Vagabond

    Vagabond Well-Known Member

    That was in the sixteenth century, right? ;)
  17. Karina1974

    Karina1974 Well-Known Member

    ITA. So am I, to the extent where I sometimes feel like I was born at the wrong time. My focus is more on the social/cultural history of certain time periods; basically, the late 1800s up through when I could remember things for myself.

    If they ever do come with a way to time-travel, I would be the first in line!
  18. Holley Calmes

    Holley Calmes Well-Known Member

    Oh my God, how pathetic. How could ANYBODY think that????? Didn't he ever watch the Swamp Fox on Walt Disney????

    Seriously, some fun stories came out of the Carolinas during 1779-81. But that's just my own weird little corner of history.
  19. kia_4EverOnIce

    kia_4EverOnIce Active Member

    me too...I'm in classics and late antiquity's history&archaeology, and I spent some teenagers days realising a big timeline (starting from 3000BC, I gave up around XIcentury AD!) :D