Even with my great love of history as well as having dabbled in my own ancestry, I regret not being more focused upon it. I should have spent a lot more time with my parents and grandparents ferreting out the details of their family remembrances. I have a fairly well traced history of my father's side of the family yet only a speck of the ancestry on my mother's side. But more importantly, there is the broader aspect of the title question. As a nation, as a people, we are the product of what has gone before. We should have a better grasp of our history.
Some communities, most counties and all states have an active historical society. Cherokee County is no exception. The Cherokee County Historical Society maintains a great treasure of county history and routinely offers broad ranged displays and exhibits at their museum and headquarters in the Historic Courthouse on North Street in downtown Canton.
In addition to the public historical societies, there are many private historical associations and groups that offer an abundant variety of perspectives and educational programs for everyone to enjoy. Quite frankly, it's a shame that so much of our history education is left to organizations like the historical society. Not that they don't do a good job because most of them do, but it is to be hoped that the public schools would be doing more than they do. In some school districts the teaching of American history covering the periods prior to 1900 is scant at best. With so much of our free society based on the Founders and their writings, we should not be glossing over it nor ignoring it. Students being graduated with little knowledge of the construct and purpose of our liberty stand very little chance of having the ability to preserve and protect it. From a historical point of view, they don't know who they are.
George Whitefield is given credit for the Great Awakening in the American Colonies but its real meaning was carried along by those who were structuring American independence and freedom. It is that strengthening that must be consistently refreshed through history lessons in our public schools as well as through programs of local societies, both civic and historic. Becoming involved in the Cherokee County Historical Society and other history-rich groups such as the Sons of the American Revolution would help each of us to know more of who we are.
The Sons of the American Revolution sponsor an annual Poster Contest for elementary school age children, awarding prizes and recognition to both the student and the school. This representation of a part of American history is not only fun but immerses the entrants in searching for facts surrounding the theme of the contest. This year's theme is "Francis Marion, The Swamp Fox"