A National Memory

I am reminded often of how young I am in my office, and how I may not know some things from pop culture or recent history. I suppose this is just a fact of life, but the brilliant writers at xkcd.com shared an eye-opening view of when most Americans will forget or not know about certain events in American history. At first, I thought it was insensitive to say that most Americans will have “forgotten” (put out of primary consciousness) 9/11 by 2036. But I suppose it is a harsh reality that events that are on the forefront of our minds now, and that are so ingrained in our culture now, will not necessarily be a part of how those future generations view the world.

image from xkcd.com

And it’s true, I don’t remember the 70s because I wasn’t there. I know of them, but I wasn’t there to actually remember them. And that goes for quite a few of those early items for me.

Are there any events/things that you are surprised to see on the list? Any thoughts on national memory?


6 responses

  1. Wow, I find it hard to believe that people won’t remember/know of Michael Jackson! Some of these other things I can imagine forgetting, but things like Princess Diana, 9/11 … wow.

    • Yeah, isn’t it crazy? But then, there are people who didn’t know who Paul McCartney was just this year!

      And I think part of what they mean by forget is that they will not have experienced it to remember it. They will only have heard about it, like my nieces and nephews who were almost all born after 9/11 and are just starting to form memories now.

    • Wasn’t he formally accused by Congress? I think that’s all impeachment is. Trial and removal from office is different. I didn’t make up the chart’s events, but the rest of it is mostly accurate.

  2. This is really interesting… the little girl i babysat throughout my high school years was born in 1995, but when I said something about 9/11 she knew it was an important day, but didn’t really know why. Now that she’s older i’m sure she understands, but that’s such a fascinating event because that’s a day that I will never forget

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