Our History Depicted in Public Places

Can informed and civil conversations promote understanding of diverse views?

Public discussions about race and social justice in a democracy as open, free and dynamic as the United States, has prompted important discussions about of how our collective, shared and varied history is expressed in public spaces. In a country of diverse religious, racial, cultural and countless other identities, how do we make room for understanding?

The goal is not to argue for a single point of view, or the “right” point of view, but instead create an understanding and tolerance of a variety of views. Our own life experiences and backgrounds can lead any of us to come to different conclusions about the same thing. We are creating this space because we believe local history is a powerful tool in informing, motivating, and engaging an informed and civil conversation.

Lucy Maynard Salmon on the Importance of Rewriting History

Thoughts on how & why history can be seen to change

“Many histories represent preconceived ideas rather than conclusions deducted from a study of facts…”

“[Each] new day may enable us to readjust our vision, to see the past in a truer perspective, to clear away the mists that have obscured the truth.”

Under the title Why History is Rewritten? Vassar College Professor Lucy Maynard Salmon wrote about why subsequent generations need to “rewrite” history. She did this in a 1912 article and in a posthumously published book in 1926 with that title.

In addition to the constant pursuit of a greater truth, Salmon advocates the rewritting of history for other reasons: new information and discoveries and new ways of studying history (could she have imaged the internet?).

Three focus areas are in development