Born Too Late: A History Meme

For people who don’t already know about internet memes this may not be very interesting. Unfortunately I don’t have time to explain before I take off on my summer vacation later this morning. Yet I still want to point briefly to a new “history meme” as it begins to make the rounds today. Here’s how Kelly Russell, the meme’s originator, describes it at West Coast Grrlie Blather:

Here’s the meme: If you could go back to any time in history (for a visit, or you can stay if you really want to), what time would you go back to?

Make a list of four. Name the place, year(s), and event and/or person you’d like to see first hand. In the fifth item (optional) you can put your four honorable mentions. Then tag four people, and send them an e-mail to let them know you’ve tagged them. That’s it!

Kelly’s list includes opening night of West Side Story and Jackie Robinson’s first game with the Dodgers. I’ll be interested to see what other people list as this thing spreads across the blogosphere. If it takes off, it could be a real gold mine for understanding popular historical interests and attitudes. I’m also interested to see what people give as reasons for their choices. Being limited to choosing just four events should force participants to make some real historical judgments and to justify their choices. I’m off for now, but I’ll tackle that one in my first post-vacation entry in about about a week.

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