by Tom Ward
Here is a fun game you can play with history, no matter what your age is.
I will be 88 years old this coming May.
Erase the word old and change it to 88 years of age.
It sounds better that way — since I’m feeling so good right now.
When starting school, we all learn reading, writing and arithmetic.
Then we learn some history about the Civil War and President Abraham Lincoln.
We also learned all about our first president, George Washington.
Later, some of us went on to more advanced math courses.
That’s when we learned about negative numbers, like -10 or -110, or whatever.
Here is the fun game you can play with your date of birth, no matter what your age.
Subtract your present age from your birth year and then consider all of the events that happened in that same number of years before your birth and you will see that they are much closer to your lifetime than you may have thought.
Let’s take me, for example.
I was born in 1924. Eighty-eight years before I was born it was only 25 years earlier that Dolly Madison was likely throwing a lavish party in the White House, for which she was so famous for.
President Lincoln was killed just 59 years before I was born, not 200, as it seemed to me when I was in grade school.
In 1836, Lincoln was just 27 years old.
World War I ended just six years before I was born.
It seemed like 100 years when I was little.
That year, 1836, was also just 26 years after George Washington’s presidency.
Try this game yourself, no matter your age, and you just might see that some of those historical events that you thought were so far from your lifetime, were actually not.
I hope you all can have some fun with this game.
I also hope I didn’t offend any of you old codgers out there.
Editor’s note: Tom Ward a member of the Anoka County Historical Society Board of Directors.