Editor, Commonwealth:

Regarding Charles M. Dunagin’s op-ed column “Ending history test is risky” (Aug. 27):

Accolades and olé to Mr. Dunagin. Accolades especially to the last paragraph in his column that quotes Marcus Mosiah Garvey Jr.

I suppose in the interest of ratings and rankings, Mississippi should eliminate the U.S. history test. I suppose if students are not to be tested on our history, then why teach our history?

It would matter little if our future generations know not the relevance of these dates: July 4, 1776; April 12, 1861; Dec. 7, 1941; June 6, 1944; Sept. 11, 2001. These are just a few of many, but if dates give youngsters problems, then let’s move to locations.

We start with Valley Forge. You know where that is and who the commander was, don’t you? How about Gettysburg, Pennsylvania? What about Bastogne, Belgium, or Normandy, France? Is this too difficult? Let’s try two more: Antietam, Maryland, and Iwo Jima, Japan.

Maybe we need to soften this a bit.

I can see future generations trundling forth unable to differentiate the American Revolution from the Industrial Revolution or the significance of either; the Louisiana Purchase from Seward’s Folly; the Alamo from Independence Hall. I can see our future state leaders not knowing King George from George Washington; Lewis and Clark from Laurel and Hardy; Frederick Douglas from Frederic Remington; James Ewell Brown Stuart from James Butler Hickok.

On and on we could go, but enough.

An attribute to being an American is to know something about its history.

Jim Wellborn Jr.

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