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80 Days

A friend sent me a link to Time magazine’s 80 Days That Changed the World. I have been reading ever since. I just found some knitting I could do without thinking at all, and I’m reading every single page. I’m up to December 1, 1955, when Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on the bus (go, Grrrl!).

Some of it is heavy stuff, with bombs and Hitler, McCarthyism and British troops in Africa. Some of it is entertainment, such as Mickey Mouse, Superman, I Love Lucy and Elvis. Some of it is inspiring, such as Jessie Owens, Gandhi, Jackie Robinson, the birth of Alcoholics Anonymous, and Rosa Parks. The only problem with the site is on regular pages, all the links say is a date, not what the subject is on that date. So going back through dozens of pages I’ve already read to find the link to Jackie Robinson, for example, is a real chore. There is an index page, though, which is some help.

All of it is fascinating. I don’t want to do anything else but read this, and I will have a hard time going to bed on time tonight if I don’t finish reading it all.

Funny, I don’t much care for the mass media, particularly television. I feel that much of the news over-focuses and dramatizes things that need not be over-emphasized. (The kids at Foster Center were afraid they would be killed by last year’s sniper, even though there was no evidence Michigan was a target. I think their fear was because of seeing the story too much, and it was so dramatic that they took it personally.) I also feel that much is left out of the news that might balance things out. For one thing, good people do good deeds all the time and that is not considered news. When a friend left a suitcase on the Toronto subway, she got it back. Why is that sort of thing passed by in favor of human distress? But I digress…

I somehow had lots of history in school about the American Revolution. I got very little world history. So this site is fascinating to me. It gives me short bits of historical information about several different areas of the human experience (entertainment, science, national and international events). They are all on the same timeline so it helps me piece together several areas of history into one picture.

I do admit that I am easily upset and I should not have read about wars and assassinations before bedtime. I also know that much is not covered in one-page stories about merely 80 events since 1923. I found it engrossing, even with these weaknesses.

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