I remember painfully sitting through the Advanced Placement history class that for some reason I had tested into.  To this day, I will never know how I ended up in there.  The teacher certainly wondered too.  I never quite got her points.  And she let me know it.  In addition, she railed on Nixon repeatedly, if not daily, so I tended to tune her out.
She had dark beehive hair.  Was quite short.  And just seemed angry.  I don’t know that I ever felt welcome in her class nor did I ever enjoy it. The only thing I seem to recall is the section on the Civil War.
Coming from California, the only information we received on that horrible War was what we got from our text books.  By the time we got to that section in this woman’s class I can assure you she accomplished her task. To this day I can hear her pounding into our brains that the War between the States was merely about cotton. Economics. End of story. Turn the chapter.  
So you can imagine my bewilderment as eyes were glued to the page showing the levels and the layout of the packed slave ships. I was baffled as to why this woman seemed so bent on making us believe it had nothing to do with slaves.  
As I scanned the news online, my eyes caught a fascinating story. It jarred my memory of this high school teacher and her mantra and I couldn’t help but share it with you my trusty friends.
 (CNN) — A long-hidden message has been discovered inside Abraham Lincoln’s pocket watch, the Smithsonian’s Museum of American History announced Tuesday. (March 10, 2009)
Ironically, the message in the watch differs slightly from what the watchmaker later claimed that he wrote.
Watchmaker Jonathan Dillon was repairing Lincoln’s watch in April 1861 when he heard about the attack on Fort Sumter, South Carolina. That day he wrote a short message on the metal inside the watch, declares the Smithsonian.
There it remained, unseen for almost 150 years.
The actual message that the museum found apparently differs from the watchmaker’s recollection. The inscription on the watch reads, “Jonathan Dillon, April 13-1861, Fort Sumpter [sic] was attacked by the rebels on the above date J Dillon, April 13-1861, Washington, thank God we have a government, Jonth Dillon.”
Interestingly, in a 1906 interview with The New York Times, this same watchmaker, Dillon, reported that as soon as he heard the news about the first shots of the Civil War, he unscrewed the dial of the watch and wrote on the metal, “The first gun is fired. Slavery is dead. Thank God we have a President who at least will try.”
So, what the man wrote, and what he recalled to the world that he wrote seem to have ended up being two conflicting accounts. Funny. Isn’t it interesting. When it comes to actual events and how we remember them, in the last 150 years, not much has changed. What exactly happened, and how we choose to remember it don’t always match up.
Just my thoughts.
(for photo of inscribed watch link to:  http://www.cnn.com/2009/US/03/10/lincoln.watch/index.html)