Ready for the candles?
Americans love a birthday. It's not been long since we commemorated the 200th anniversaries of the Louisiana Purchase, Abraham Lincoln's birth, the War of 1812. The Civil War sesquicentennial has taken us across five Aprils; the centennial of World War I will occupy three more Novembers.
With the new year comes a new anniversary: the Indiana Bicentennial--marking the summer day in 1816 when a group of delegates ratified this state's constitution under a Corydon elm tree.
Indiana University will play its part in marking this latest addition to the anniversary roster. On Feb. 19-20, the IU Bloomington History Department hosts the annual meeting of the Indiana Association of Historians. The group's 2016 theme, "1816 and All That: Memory/Commemoration/History," links experience to historical reflection. University-wide, IU's funding drive, "For All: The Indiana University Bicentennial Campaign," honors the 2020 anniversary of the college that sprang from that state constitution, and that thrives today.
Round numbers are fine for party invitations. But for IU History students and faculty, every year is an anniversary, every moment a chance to take stock of where we've been and where we're going. Whether it's Deborah Deliyannis working with her students to understand the Fall of Rome, or Ed Linenthal examining the lingering shadows cast by tragedies in modern American life, IU History faculty remind their classes that each day is a time for remembrance, and each remembrance is a chance to think more clearly about what's yet to come.
If you're ready to make sense of the past--even after the parades have dispersed and the candles are blown out--join IU History in 2016. Enroll in our classes, support our students, attend our events, follow us on Facebook.
Whatever the year, there's no time like the present for making sense of the past.
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