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  • WHO CARES?

    Filed at 12:53 pm under by dcobranchi

    Why is it important for Americans to know what 1066 means?

    12 Responses to “WHO CARES?”


    Comment by
    Natalie
    December 19th, 2006
    at 3:11 pm

    Aiyeee!!! THE NORMAN CONQUEST!!!

    I know this because my junior/senior Honors English teacher, Mrs. Lapeyrouse, drilled it into our heads as THE most important date in history. Of all time. Ever. She said to us, “if you never remember ANYTHING for the rest of your lives, remember 1066!!” and “You have the year 1066 to thank for everything you have today!!” or “The reason we speak English today is because of 1066!!”

    For years afterwards, the number 1066 would randomly pop up and I’d be tempted to yell, “THE NORMAN CONQUEST!!” at whomever was present. Truthfully (and this is for real, folks), during the seven years I worked at Walmart, 1066 would come up all the time. It was like battling Tourettes:

    “Sir, your total is 10.66…THE NORMAN CONQUEST!!!…have a nice day.”

    Does that make me literate…or just in dire need of therapy? I don’t know. But I do know that–according to Mrs. Lapeyrouse– the battle of 1066 set into motion those events that would shape English (and hence, American) history.

    I hope you are not as burdened by this knowledge as I have been.


    Comment by
    Audrey
    December 19th, 2006
    at 4:42 pm

    *spit* Yes… that Norman Conquest. *spit*

    It’s why the French so detest the English. For all time immemoriam the English shall forever be spoken of with a spat to the ground accompanied by a certain hand gesture.

    Just think of how sexy you all would sound, si vous parlez français.

    🙂


    Comment by
    Stephanie
    December 19th, 2006
    at 6:40 pm

    I always figure it’s helpful to know where we came from, in order to think intelligently about where we’re going.

    I had no idea so many people *didn’t* know what happened in the year 1066. Had that battle gone differently, the entire course of our history could have been drastically different.


    Comment by
    Lillian
    December 19th, 2006
    at 7:46 pm

    I think it’s very important, from a cultural literacy and a historical knowledge point of view. What I don’t understand is why the Norman Conquest should make the French hate the English. Shouldn’t it be the other way around?


    Comment by
    Nance Confer
    December 19th, 2006
    at 7:49 pm

    Yes. Years of public schooling paid off!

    Confronted with “1066” the phrase “Battle of Hastings” sprang to my mind.

    Now, of course, I have no idea what that phrase means or what its historical signficance is but. . . I am “educated!” 🙂

    Nance

    P.S. Yes, I saw the posts above but dozed through them the same way I dozed through history class. 🙂


    Comment by
    Ulrike
    December 19th, 2006
    at 8:09 pm

    Natalie, I had a teacher who did the same thing with 476.


    Comment by
    COD
    December 19th, 2006
    at 9:25 pm

    I had no idea. My 12 year old son knew instantly. At least somebody in this house is literate 🙂

    My DoD school education provided exactly 1 year if US history. I talked my way out of the 2nd year on a technicality when we moved my junior year. I never had a western civ / world history class.


    Comment by
    Stargirl
    December 20th, 2006
    at 7:00 am

    I don’t think I ever had 1066 in history class in public school, and I AP’d out of college history. But I did read mountains of British kiddie lit (Jennings, Chalet School, Blyton, Swallows & Amazons, and so on), which pretty much covered it. Plus of course the Bayeux Tapestry, me being a needle arts person and all. (Am I the only one here who combed eBay so as to give their son a Bayeux Tapestry tie for Christmas? Thought so.) I also recently memorized 1666 – Great Fire of London, which of course helped wipe out the Great Plague from 1665.

    476 had me stumped, though.


    Comment by
    Tim Haas
    December 20th, 2006
    at 7:01 am

    It’s all those Horrible Histories, Chris!


    Comment by
    Daryl Cobranchi
    December 20th, 2006
    at 8:35 am

    I knew what 1066 meant (from a trivia POV). What I still don’t grok, though, is why it’s supposedly important for Americans to know it. Would it really have made a difference in the 1700s if William the Conqueror hadn’t? And even if it would have, we wouldn’t ever know what might have been.

    1215 I can see. 1066? Zzzzzz.


    Comment by
    Tim Haas
    December 20th, 2006
    at 9:02 pm

    Without the Norman Conquest, you wouldn’t be speaking the rich, nuanced language we have today, and — though this perhaps is to be decried rather than celebrated — our system of governance might be quite different.


    Comment by
    Ulrike
    December 21st, 2006
    at 1:41 am

    476 is The Fall of the Roman Empire, except that it’s not really, which the teacher obsessed with the date also said. *boggle* Yeah.

    Wikipedia puts it better than I could:
    “The end of the Roman Empire is traditionally placed on 4 September 476, when the Western Roman Empire fell to Germanic invaders, although the major power centre of the Empire had by then transferred to the Eastern Roman Empire. Known to modern-day historians as the Byzantine Empire, it maintained Roman legal and cultural traditions within a distinctly Greek Orthodox form for another thousand years until it was conquered by the Ottoman Empire on 29 May 1453.”

    en.wik...empire