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Quotes of the Day for 8 October 2004 – History

Bruce Catton was born at Petoskey, Michigan on this day in 1899 and was raised at Benzonia where his father was headmaster of the Benzonia Academy. He heard reminiscences of Civil War veterans which made a deep impact. After graduating from Oberlin College and serving in the Navy, Catton wrote for the Cleveland News, the Boston Herald-American, then returned to Cleveland to work at the Plain Dealer. From there he moved to the syndicate offices of Scripps-Howard and wrote articles for all their papers. At age fifty he turned his back on current events and was soon known as one of the most powerful writers of the history of the Civil War. In 1954 he founded American Heritage and served as its editor until his death.

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The quotes:

The charm of history and its enigmatic lesson consist in the fact that, from age to age, nothing changes and yet everything is completely different.
     - Aldous Leonard Huxley, 1894 - 1963

History is an account mostly false, of events mostly unimportant, which are brought about by rulers, mostly knaves, and soldiers, mostly fools.
     - Ambrose Bierce

History is little else than a tableau of human crimes and misfortunes.
     - Voltaire, 1694 - 1778

The very concept of history implies the scholar and the reader. Without a generation of civilized people to study history, to preserve its records, to absorb its lessons and relate them to its own problems, history, too, would lose its meaning.
     - George Frost Kennan

For historians ought to be precise, truthful, and quite unprejudiced, and neither interest nor fear, hatred nor affection, should cause them to swerve from the path of truth, whose mother is history, the rival of time, the depository of great actions, the witness of what is past, the example and instruction of the present, the monitor of the future.
     - Miguel de Cervantes, 1547 - 1616

Happy the people whose annals are blank in the history books!
     - Thomas Carlyle, 1795 - 1881


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