Today’s Children Would Not Understand Something Written in 1886.
Mandeville, LA – Exclusive Transcript – “Wouldn’t it be a sign of a regenerating spirit of republicanism and of the primary things that kids ought to be learning as opposed to the compulsory things that we force them to learn — this magazine, my point, is pitched to young people. I just want to read the introduction to the story on Washington. Remember, this is pitched to your teenage son or daughter. See if you think they would read this or could comprehend it today. This was published in 1886.” Check out today’s transcript for the rest…
Begin Mike Church Show Transcript
Mike: What I’d like to call your attention to, and I’m just reading from the title page, St. Nicholas, Volume XIII, Part II, May 1886 to October 1886. This is a magazine that was made for young boys. It would come out twice per annum. It was edited by a woman named Mary Mapes Dodge. In it you will find — I am blown away by this because I don’t know how many of you are old enough to remember, maybe when you were children if you’re in your 50s or 60s and you were in the dentist or doctor’s office, they would have Highlights magazine or Boys Life.
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I just read you instruction. You could say it was a magazine all you want. Remember, this was before the dawn of compulsory public schools, for the most part. So what would the young person take away from this? What would he or she be inspired to do? I don’t think they would be inspired to do the things that we inspire them to do today. Even if I could make a modern-day reference to this or bring this story forward, just change the words and bring Washington forward into 2014, would our youth today, mine included, even be amenable to hearing it, or would they reject it as being old, fuddy-duddy and being outdated? [mocking] “He was just being a prude. He was being a square, man. We don’t need squares like that cat around here anymore, man.”
I am just blown away by the public and private conduct of character that the men that were of the founding generations and the ones that came after — this was published in 1886, meaning that there were enough people that still thought that this is the way it ought to be and you ought to learn this story. This had been passed on. It hadn’t just ended when Washington died on 14 December 1799. It’s fascinating stuff. You can read the rest of this volume — it’s a huge volume. It would take you months to read. You can browse through it, St. Nicholas, Volume XIII, Part 2, published in 1886, a magazine for the young. It’s a fascinating window into the way we used to instruct and the things we used to instruct our children on.
End Mike Church Show Transcript