Friday, 19 March 2010

What are your top 10 historical dates?

From the most modest pub quiz evening right up to Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, there is clearly a public appetite for general knowledge quizzes. To my mind the heart of such information is historical dates yet I get no sense that ‘important dates’ are taught in our schools.
Learning dates was the most boring aspect of history lessons when I was at school but they provided the framework on which to build more interesting detail. Children may have a good sense of what life would be like in a Norman fort or the Blitz but little sense of the centuries in between.
So if you had to settle for just 10 vital historical dates relevant to British history – though not necessarily occurring within the UK – what would you choose?
Here is my selection:-

55BC – Julius Caesar’s first invasion of Britain
1066 – Norman Conquest
1642-51 – English Civil War
1775-83 – American War of Independence
1789-99 - French Revolution
1914-18 – First World War
1939-45 – Second World War
1969 – First Man on the Moon
1989 – Fall of the Berlin Wall
2001 – 9/11 attack on Twin Towers
The above list excludes key events like the signing of Magna Carta, Waterloo, and the atomic bomb destruction of Hiroshima and so is far from perfect. What changes would you make?

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What do you think? GC