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From the Mind of a Pathologically Curious Teacher

Category: Historiography


Websites offering lists of “Today in History” abound. I have several books in my library that provide such lists. I understand the impulse to go to these sites and books. They give (to geeks such as myself ) the feeling that history is exciting with a rush of now. After all it happened TODAY (except […]

Nothing Happened.

I stumbled on an  anecdote in The Little, Brown Book of Anecdotes (page 201) that perfectly illustrates one of the great forces of history:  nothing.  While on their honeymoon in 1920 the actors Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford happened to be staying at the same hotel as the great General Pershing.  When a large crowd developed, the general assumed they were trying to see the actors and the the actors assumed the crowd wanted to see the general.  The crowd waited for an appearance, everyone stayed in their room.

The crowd waited.  Eventually everyone went home because nothing happened.

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