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Living Histories: Learn from someone who lived it

There is much more to be learned than what is in the history books. The lessons from someone who has lived through a historical event cannot be found in a book or a lecture. Take time to have a dialogue with a grandparent, neighbor or community member to get their perspective of a historical event. It is will allow you to process the information, ask follow up questions and feel the emotion connected to the event. Living histories are valuable in understanding the historical significance in people's lives. It also makes the historical impact more relatable.

One local senior center director said that she had senior's from many wars with history to share. She noted it would be a great opportunity for youth to learn from someone that had lived through a time in history that they are learning about in school and return, perhaps the students could help the seniors with phone technology. There is much to be learned from each generation. If history and experiences are not documented, they will be lost.

One example of recording oral histories is with StoryCorps is an app that can be used assist and record living histories. Once the story has been recorded, it can be uploaded to the Library of Congress for all to learn from. As well, living histories can be used for a project, assignment or competition, like National History Day. However, the best reason is just curiosity to learn from someone else's experience to better understand how we all fit in the world.

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