I was never much for history and it certainly was not one of my best subjects. Then again, things change. When I moved to Hawaii, I found I was immersed in history.
I live next to where the explorer Captain Cook visited and eventually died. Along with him was William Bligh, infamously known as the Captain of the Bounty, whose crew eventually set him adrift while they took his ship. I had heard the story in school but never imagined living here.
I also have been to the historic Mookini Heiau (https://www.nps.gov/places/mo-okini-heiau.htm) and was invited to enter after the kapu was listed. In fact, just this past Saturday night there was a gathering at that same heiau and we also met with many astronomers. It was quite an event to view the night sky and learn how the ancient Hawaiians found the islands by the stars. Fifty years ago, Thor Heyerdahl and the Kon-Tiki expedition appeared to prove that ancient humans could have sailed west from South American to colonize the Pacific islands. But DNA evidence now shows that his theory was wrong. It is now accepted that the Hawaiians actually did navigate by stars from the west and not drift from South America by currents. Of course, the Hawaiians would have been happy to tell Thor that all along. He just had to ask!
An interesting thought came to me Saturday at the heiau. We had Astrophysicists talking about stars and black holes and satellites and rockets. They, unlike me, had never been at the first Shuttle launch. To them it would have been history. It also made me feel quite old.
As long as I am talking history, my Cousin had done a lot of research of the ancestry of my Fathers and Grandmothers lineage. When I was a child I remember hearing that my Great Grandmother was “D.A.R.” and of course being quite young, never knew what that meant. At the time they had found that along her line had been a soldier in the American Revolution, thus she was a Daughter of the American Revolution. With the advent of computers and the Internet, we now know more. Although that is an impressive fact, we now know that someone long the Thomas/Williams line was more famous.
William Williams (April 8, 1731 – August 2, 1811) was an American Founding Father, merchant, a delegate for Connecticut to the Continental Congress in 1776, and a signatory to the United States Declaration of Independence. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Williams_(Connecticut_politician)
Even though I was not a fan of history, some of us have it thrust upon us. I am glad to know that I am related to a Founding father, but will never achieve that kind of greatness myself. Had I know of my lineage back in grade school I would have studied more about the past to see how I really fit into the world in which I was a part.