History IS Here Month

Here’s this month’s history column from the San Juan Historical Society and Museum

Remember when we could happily pose this close to each other in a crowd of people, just like the Hemphill family and friends did around 1910 in the photograph above? As everyone knows, we currently live in a time defined by a novel coronavirus, where normal social behavior is a changeable thing.

Just about all of us have lived through at least one life-changing event that, on a national scale, has shaken our views of the future or changed how we go about life. It’s the kind of event in which you remember where you were when you heard the news. For many of us, it was the terrorist attacks on our country on September 11, 2001. Or the assassination of President John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963. Sudden, tragic events.

But there is another kind of definitive event which unfolds slowly. It’s what we have today with the world pandemic known as COVID-19. We are living today what will be in the history books of the future. So, while the month of May is still officially called “History Lives Here” month, this year we have an opportunity to document how this timestamp on island life is being made here locally during a time of physical distancing and even self-isolation. This is the year of “History IS Here,” it seems to us. 

Why not write down some thoughts, some experiences, to pass on to your family’s future generations. What will you remember most? Will it be Zoom meetings (or Zoom Happy Hours)?  A wedding postponed? That your family could not come up to the island for Easter? That your business, and just about everything else, had to close for such a long time? Was it the kindness of someone you had not known before?

A journal or a memoir does not need to be formal or polished. Just jot down your experiences and impressions to represent this unusual time. Consider making a copy to be preserved at the San Juan Historical Society and Museum. Most importantly: be safe, be well.

Posted on May 6, 2020 at 5:56 am by

Categories: History

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