Wednesday, January 9, 2013

If You Could Have Personally Witnessed One Event in History...


“Now, I say to you today my friends, even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: - 'We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal” ~Martin Luther King Jr.

The other day, I was thinking about what historical event that I would have most wanted to witness. The answer didn't come to me right away so I took some time to ponder it. There are so many events in history that I would love to be able to see. From the monumental (JFK’s inauguration speech) to the groundbreaking (Jackie Robinson breaking baseball’s color barrier), to the history-altering (The Berlin Wall coming down)...it’s so hard to choose.

After thinking about it though, I chose Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech. I just think it would be so amazing to be able to witness what was, to me, the most important speech of the twentieth century. Imagine being able to say that you were there…wow.
If you could have personally witnessed one event in history, what would you choose?


115 comments:

  1. I'd have to go with you on Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech. I think his speech could relate to a lot of people, even though racism isn't as intense (excuse me for the lack of words, haha) as it was half a century ago. A lot of my favorite quotes come from his speech, too!

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  2. MLK's speech was indeed one of the most powerful ever (not just the 20th century).

    Hmmm.... I love history and spend a lot of time day dreaming about it so this is a hard question....

    Right now, I'd say I'd have loved loved loved to have been at The Great Exhibition in London in 1851. Oh... to have been there to see and learn so many things that many people had never seen or heard of. Prince Albert gave a great gift to the world when he helped create the Exhibition!

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  3. ah that would have been cool to be at...wow, its hard to isolate one date...i have always been enamored with the lewis & clark expedition....maybe the day they saw the pacific...i have to imagine there were many days on their trip filled with wonder...hard times too but....

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  4. Possibly the celebrations in the streets at the end of the First World War. It would be something to see the joy, the hope, the despair and pride of those for whom it came too late, all mingled as we celebrated the war that was to end all war. .. although .. your choice is pretty special too.

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  5. First off, I have to say you are a very wise man. I adored your comment on my recent post because your a 100% right. Yes he does do sweet things for me in return... =)

    For your post, I wish I could be in so many moments of history that I think I've lost count. I would want to be one of the millions of people who watched us walk on the moon, be one of the first people to go into any of the World Fairs, of course listen to Martin Luther kings speech, be there the day at the end of WWII when the sailor kissed that nurse, I want to be in Roswell New Mexico in 1947 when the "alien's" came, I want to be in the theater to watch the first movie, and oh so much more. If I was a time traveler I'd be one busy woman. lol.

    I'd also want to be in that grassy nole the Kennedy shot so I can tell people I saw two gunmen or more...I've been obsessed with that conspiracy for years...

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  6. I would have loved to have watched any of the historic moments surrounding JFK. With one exception, that being his murder.

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  7. Gah-Keith... That is an excellent question!!! (You're very good at making others think, thank you for that :) ).

    I'm going to have to ponder this one as well and get back to you this evening. Gotta say, the MLK speech is a pretty good choice!

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  8. Hard to pic just one. But then I'd prob choose when Atlantis sunk or the aliens left haha you never know, otherwise hmmm so many to coose from.

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  9. It would be quite an amazing thing to see that speech. It's on my list but if I had to choose just one moment, I really don't know what it would be. I think I would like to be there the first time a play of William Shakespeare's was put on.

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  10. I am right there with you Keith....I would have loved to have seen that speech! :-)

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  11. I would have loved to see us win the Revolution against England and King George III. Then I would love to see President Washington take his place as the first leader in our Republic and to experience the Constitution for the very first time. In the raw. Though, as a girl I would still get the sh*t end of the stick XD.

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  12. This is a difficult one for me too. Your two choices are certainly among my top choices too. I love history and this is a hard choice.

    MLK and JFK are hard to beat. But, if I could choose just one moment I would love to have been at the 1st Queen Elizabeth's coronation.

    I am absolutely fascinated and enthralled with everything about her. I would love to have known her.

    Great question!

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  13. Hm, fantastic question! George Washington is one of my heros, I think I would like to go back and witness his speech he gave when he was elected president, that would just be amazing.

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  14. You chose wisely to listen to MLK speech.
    I would like to see the legendary landing of the Anunnaki spaceship when they were purported to have arrived in S. America in their quest for gold.

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  15. Excellent post. I would have loved to have heard MLK's speech, too. To have heard those words for the first time would have been awesome.

    Other events--there's too many to choose from! One thing I would have liked to have witnessed is the end of WWII in the U.S., after the Pacific war ended.

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  16. I would have loved to go back to 15th August 1947, when India gained Independence :-)

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  17. That would be a great time to visit.
    If I had to pick I would go back and watch the Wright Brothers first flight.

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  18. Yes, that would have been emotional and powerful for sure. I think I would have liked to have seen all the men come home from WWII, their families greeting them and the celebrations in the streets.

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  19. What a wonderful stumper of a question!! I like your choice and would have loved to witness it also.
    I am hard pressed to come up with an answer but I think I would have liked to watch the construction of the pyramids.
    Thank you for sending me down a new mental path Keith.

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  20. Great post!
    Ummm - maybe John and Yoko's bed-in for peace. I always thought that was really creative.

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  21. So many answers but the one that came to the top was to see how stonehenge was built and what was done there. Number two was to see what happened to the Ancient Pueblo people who built the cliff dwellings in Mesa Verde and then disappeared seemingly without a trace about 800 years ago.

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  22. But more than simply being able to witness the MLK speech myself, I'd wish for the chance to take a group to listen with me.

    Perhaps feeling that power in person could further broaden the thinking of some self-proclaimed "open minded" people who just aren't quite *there* yet.

    xx
    Lulu
    Breakfast After 10

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  23. Oooh that is a good one, I'll have to agree with MLK speech

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  24. An excellent question, as always. And an equally tough one to answer. If I can only pick one event in history, I'd want to go back to the Lost Colony of Roanoke and answer the mystery of their disappearance. (And I'll have you know, I changed my answer to this question a dozen times, and I'm STILL not sure... but I'm done!)

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  25. it still makes my hair stand on end when i hear it re-broadcast today. :)

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  26. Oh that is a great question being Canadian I have different events in history that are very important to me but I nust admit this is one I think stands out as one of the best anywhere. B

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  27. Wow- great question. It would have been great to witness MLK's speech. I also would have wanted to witness the world fair in Chicago- how cool would that have been at the turn of the century. Or maybe even ride a wagon train out west...I don't know. I might have to think on this one for a bit and come back.

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  28. That's an excellent question. I think I would have liked to witness the Pyramids being built. There are so many assumptions about how they did it, how long it took and even if they have extraterrestrial help doing it, that I would love to see for myself. Then of course come back to this time..lol

    Oh and as for my post..glad you liked it, I sent you a Twitter follow request I'm @scarymary66

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  29. I would witness when the Japanese in the U.S. were placed in concentration camps after Pearl Harbor. The reason for that is for me to see my great grandmother. I wish I could see my ancestors take on what was brought onto them. She has told me stories and I wish I could really see it all. If at all possible, I wish I could stand there beside her to be just as strong too.

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  30. Hmmm, there's a lot that I would love to see, but I think I would want to be on the voyage of the Beagle. The ship that Darwin was on when he was gathering data of evolution. How cool would it be to see the wonders of the world before there was an overly massive population?!

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  31. Yes - wow is right! That would have been an awesome experience, one that I imagine stayed with those who were there for the rest of their lives.

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  32. I think MLK's speech would have been interesting to see. I can't think of a specific event, but I would like to talk to Abraham Lincoln and see what he really would have said/thought about some things.

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  33. I think I would like to see a mummy being made.

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  34. It was President Obama's inauguration, and I am so glad I got to witness it :-)

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  35. I would probably go back and witness the dinosaur extinction event--assuming that I could find a safe place to view it.

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  36. I am of an age that I followed Jackie Robinson's baseball career when I was a child! Therefore, that means I have lived through many events from the 1940's. Had I been able to choose being present for any of these outstanding historical events, however, it would have been MLK's speech - "I Have A Dream."

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  37. An excellent choice, Keith.

    I am impelled by considered opinion to believe that all speeches must be weighed on their own merits and within the historical context that gave them birth. Some speeches, like Dr. Kings, are uplifting and charged with unfulfilled potential. Others, are dark and portend great evil or hardship. The greatness is in the purpose and the presentation not the polarity.

    I therfore commend to your attention Winston Churchill's "We Will Fight On the Beaches" as a speech for the ages:

    "...Even though large tracts of Europe and many old and famous States have fallen or may fall into the grip of the Gestapo and all the odious apparatus of Nazi rule, we shall not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender..."

    Dean
    http://leftcoastguy.com

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  38. That would be cool to see ~ I can't pick on just one date, too many in history I would like to see specially revolutions and dismantling the cold war ~

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  39. Wow, that is a good question! I'll have to think about that one. But I agree, this speech would have been a great one to witness in person.

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  40. I would've liked to see Jackie Robinson...And the Dodgers winning the world series.

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  41. Such a great post ...i personally dont have any preference regarding historical events...but if asked would love to witness the construction of any of the renowned plus haunted building from past....in deep love with the old architecture ....

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  42. So many events I would love to see in person, but Abraham Lincoln comes foremost in my mind. I would love to see his inaugural speech and shake his hand.

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  43. I found you on my blog hop today, and I though I'd share my favorite MLK quote.

    "Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that."

    --Martin Luther King, Jr.

    www.girlwithanewlife2.com

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  44. So many choices, so many choices....
    possibly George Washington's farewell address?
    Because of the naive innocence of the time? Which we haven't seen since then.
    Of course, I may be naive.

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  45. Great question. Love MLK and would have loved to have been there. I would love to have witnessed the resurrection of Christ just so I could put my doubt to bed!

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  46. I would pick a very long time ago and would have liked to have seen Jesus and heard Him speak and watched a few miracles happen. That would be awesome!!

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  47. If you'd like the next best thing to witnessing the events of the Civil Rights Era, read the first section of the 'Zinn Reader.' It will move you.

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  48. I'm happy to be able to say that I witnessed Obama's inauguration and I'll never forget it. Too many amazing people from my past that I'd love to see/witness making history! I could write 365 posts about that one—Jesus, Buddha, MLK, Kennedy, Lincoln, Washington, Ghandi, Mother Theresa and the list goes on! Great post!

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  49. I would have loved to have seen the Christmas truce in 1914 during WW1 when all the troops played football, exchanged food and gifts and took a ceasefire for that day. Must have been extremely moving, but bittersweet too considering the times. Great post!

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  50. Oh, that is a hard one, but I agree with you, Martin Luther King's speech would be right up there at the top! Did you watch 'American Experience' last night on PBS about The Abolitionists? It's hard to believe man's inhumanity to man and thank goodness Martin Luther King's speech is coming true, but with much more work ahead. Human rights are my passion, not only here but all over the world where people are still struggling. Good thought provoking post, Keith. xx

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  51. I would have liked to be at the Mariner's game the night they tied the Major league record with Chicago. I would have liked to hear speeches by President Roosevelt, as he president when I was born. Geez, now I know I'm old.

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  52. I guess I am pretty mundane. I would have loved to be in Bologna, Italy for my parents wedding in 1946~but I was born in 65, ah, well.~Mary

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  53. I think that would have been great to see and so would going back to see Jesus- but I wonder what that would be like. Dangerous.

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  54. I would have liked to witness Martin Luther King's acceptance speech when he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace in the sixties. This is the speech that nobody seems to remember these days...

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  55. i love that MLK's speech has not been forgotten!

    wonderful question
    wonderful strand of responses
    i also would have to ponder this...

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  56. Soooo many...the Wright brothers first successful flight, the coronation of Ramses the Great or Tutankhamen, the Buddha delivering one of the sutras for the first time, the moment of understanding fire, to have seen an actual tyrannosaurus rex or mammoth in the flesh, or even the Big Bang itself...too many moments.

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  57. Oh, if I had a penny for every time I told my 5th grade class: "And we will NEVER know, unless someone events a time machine and we can go back to witness it ..."

    Some of the events that inspired this statement are:

    How people first came to the North American continent?
    What happened to Henry Hudson after the mutiny?
    Why the Roanoke colonists disappeared?
    Who fired the first shot at Lexington?

    And that's just what comes up in my history class. There's plenty more I would personally like to know ...

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  58. that is an amazing event to witness! i would have loved to witness the time jesus christ was on earth :)

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  59. That's an easy one for me...the resurrection of Christ. Thanks for getting our wheels turning Keith...fun stuff.

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  60. There could be many even if I ponder deep, but for now I like listening to Mahatma Gandhi’s speech on non-violence and peace, which even inspired MLK. Jr

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  61. Nelson Mandela's inauguration speech but there are so many others!

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  62. I would have been eyewitness one of the "Jack the Ripper" murders. Macabre I know, but I would love to know who he was.

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  63. I'm not from US, so I don't really understand the history. So, I choose Mahatma Gandhi's speech! :)


    Caroline
    http://missoline.com

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  64. Wow! What a great question to get us thinking. I will have to ponder that one. The "I Have a Dream" speech is a great one. It gives me chills just thinking about it.

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  65. Maybe not an event in the true sense, but Albert Schweitzer at work in his leper colony.

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  66. I keep thinking about this, but I'm just not sure. I would definitely love to watch pyramids all over the world during their building stages, witness the rituals that happened there upon their completion. There is so much about ancient religion I wish I could experience firsthand.

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  67. MLK speech is definitely a good one. I'm not sure if I could pick just one. Many times I find myself thinking "Wow, that would have been so cool to have been there for that!"

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  68. Perhaps not an actual event in history, but I would have loved to been able to follow Albert Einstein around for a day. Knowing now how brilliant he was, it would be interesting to see him go through a daily routine.

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  69. Gosh, it'd be hard to narrow it down to one event. You picked a good one tho!

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  70. I'd love to be present for the birth of Christ. As a mother I find myself with so many questions about how Joseph and Mary handled everything, what their relationship was like, if Jesus cried as a baby since he was perfect and all. It's where Christianity begins...being there would change me.

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  71. Keith, I love this question! I would really like to witness Charles Darwin's exploration of the Galápagos Islands. His discoveries were monumental! As a wildlife lover, I think that would be one of the coolest things to watch!

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  72. I'm not sure what event I would choose - thanks for raising the question and giving me something to think about !!
    Have the best day and thanks for stopping by my blog !
    Me

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  73. Such a great question! Your answer is a great time to have experienced in history. I will have to give this one some thought!

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  74. I interviewed a retired secret service agent, Lem Johns, who was in the motorcade with Kennedy in Dallas when he was assassinated.
    I got chills as I spoke to him.
    To this day, I remember where I was the moment I heard he'd been shot. It's something you never forget.

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  75. i would have to go with the Gettysburg address!

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  76. I would have to go with Columbus' discovery of the New World. Also I gave you a quick mention in my latest post :) Have a great weekend.

    Ashton Belle

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  77. I hope this doesn't seem petty, but I'm a huge music guy and I concerts are like a drug to me. With that said, I would love to have seen Johnny Cash or Jimi Hendrix in concert

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  78. I would choose the time and space when Krishna guided Arjuna at the battlefield when he was lost; compiled today into the commonly known "Hindu" scripture Gita. Probably I was there indeed but don't remember...

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  79. For me, it would have to be the signing of the Magna Carta by King John in 1215.
    It established the tradition of English freedom...and was so hard won!

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  80. There are to many to pick from:

    When they took off for the moon landing in July 1969

    A bystander in the crowd when Pontius Pilate decided Jesus' fate while under pressure.

    Anytime when dinosaurs roamed the earth as long as I can come back home!

    So many more...

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  81. The. Titanic leaving port...
    Sounds crass I know
    Greetings from Wales Uk and your latest follower
    Best
    John

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  82. I would have loved to hear Jesus preach when he was alive. Would have been amazing.

    Great question!

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  83. I thought a lot about this... My answer is in no way deep. Woodstock. The ultimate outdoor concert/party.

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  84. Hi Keith,

    I'm going to have to try this. Ask a question at the end of a posting. Nice one and seriously, a thought inducing question. I certainly like your thought and I'd agree with the Martin Luther King speech. However, just to add my own selection, I would liked to have been there as Neil Armstrong stated those words on the moon, or was it the Nevada desert? What do you reckon, Keith?

    Take care and I appreciate you visiting my shy, humble and oh so unassuming site.

    With respect and goodwill,

    Gary

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  85. What a fun question! It really made me think - I would have liked to be around for the making of Stonehenge.

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  86. I would love to have seen Edith Piaf performing. She was amazing!

    Thank you for reading my blog and leaving such a nice comment. You have a new follower!

    Sil x

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  87. I would have liked to see the first space launch in person...and not on a tiny TV screen in my school gymnasium. A very good thought provoking post. :)

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  88. The way you picturize it, the meaning of the point gets a total new definition. I'm a fan.

    I'd like to relive 2006 maybe. Doesn't really sound like history, but there are things I want to re-do in my life the way they happened to me!

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  89. Amazing post;
    If I could pick a time of History...
    It's a curious question...
    I think I would choose to be in the Medieval Era in France or the times of Cleopatra in Egypt. Have a great weekend! *

    Sílvia (Life)

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  90. I don't know for what deranged reason why but upon pondering the query I realized the only events I wanted to witness were horrific in nature. In the end I settled on watching Nero play his fiddle while Rome burns. I was almost the only one that was an assassination or related. Though honestly I'd much rather be at the next historical event rather than going back to ones that have already happened. Though if I had to pick a positive one in the past I would probably say the rocket launch for the first man on the moon.

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  91. The end of apartheid in South Africa. Watching Nelson Mandela walk out of the prison a free man.
    Your site is a wonderful place to visit. Thanks for the beautiful pics and unique topics.

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  92. I'm not much of a history buff, first thing came to mind was the breaking down of the wall between East and West Germany.

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  93. I'd go back to being a kid again. That's all the history I know and need.

    ✗ℴ ♡

    +To Me It Matters+

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  94. what a great idea and what a wonderful event you chose. I don't know what I'd pick but I do know it would be at a time that my mom was still on this earth. I miss her so much.

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  95. I was listening to a rebroadcast on the radio just the other day as I was driving into town, about Martin Luther King 's speech, I have a dream. That man has done so much to advance the dream of equality for the black people but he paid so dearly with his life. The seed he planted has sprouted and grown and now there's even a black president at the White House.
    Who would have even dared to dream this big?
    I think that you chose right.

    JB

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  96. Actually, I like your choice. I've always loved that speech, so full of wisdom and hope. Glad we can still listen to it.

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  97. Hmm, a very good moment you've chosen, indeed! Perhaps I would have liked to have been present the moment Julie Taymor decided Spiderman: The Musical was a good idea...

    I think witnessing the first day of public school integration in the 60s would have been incredible. Or the Freedom Rides. I have always felt amazingly compelled by people who fight hard for justice and what they believe in.

    Great, thought-provoking question, Keith. :)

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  98. It really does take some thought for this one. You've chosen well I think. There are so many events in the life of Jesus I would love to have seen. Perhaps when He brought Lazarus back to life; or when He ascended back into heaven after His resurrection.
    Thank you so much for visiting my blog. It's nice to meet you!

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  99. ..I'm not American and i only knew Martin Luther King through magazines & history books back in junior high here in Philippines..yet i think watching him deliver his famous speech could be an interesting pick in in history archive... I love mysteries so if there was one event in history i'd like to go back in it would probably be the time when Amelia Earhart began her attempt to fly around the world...i would be the invisible companion in her plane from the day she first took her flight until that last hour of her disappearance...i'd like to know what happened...where was she back then & now...why no single trace of her crashed plane...why no found body remains...and so on and so forth... Ah, truly there's so much to dig in our history.. And thank you for dropping by my li'l world of poetry...i appreciate your comment and feel free to come back anytime...you're always more than welcome...good to meet you...smiles...

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  100. Sorry I didn't get here until today! Takes a while to go through followers first.
    I'd want to witness something that would impact me forever. And I'd need three days to see it - the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ.

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  101. Oh, my brother was there at the Martin Luther King speech! I was too young to go unfortunately.

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  102. That's a wonderful choice. Another idea would be an event that signaled the end of Apartheid in South Africa. It's been too long since I studied it for me to name what the event might be, but when I think of history, that's monumental.

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  103. As many have already commented....it is hard to choose just one. Maybe it's the season...or maybe because it's almost Sunday...but I'd have to say the birth of Christ. To be there and feel the spirit and love would be incredible!
    Thank you so much for stopping by today and the comment. It was much appreciated!

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  104. What a very good question! I think it would be either the birth of Jesus or the Last Supper. Thanks for visiting me!

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  105. P.S. where do you live? What is your job?

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  106. Interesting question, as we are now looking back in retrospect. With that in mind, yeah, this is a great choice, as are the others you cited in the paragraph above. But, perhaps I look at things a little oddly, but I wonder, when delivered back to the day of our chosen event, will we have the knowledge we have at present, or would we just happen to be there, experiencing it along with everyone else, with no knowledge of what is about to transpire. I'd just hate to go to the restrooms, concessions or strike up a conversation with a neighbor just at the moment history is made. That would be my luck though:)

    I guess you couldn't go back with the knowledge of what would be happening and it's relevance of what is to come later, because, I would think, if you did know, you'd have to pick something where you could say or do something to prevent history from happening.

    Anyhow, just wrote what came to mind there. With that all removed, I'd probably go with something along the speech route myself. MLK is up there, but so would be the Papal address in NYC or something of that nature. I think the more visual events are unfortunately negative in the historical context while the orations are the positive ones.

    Great question though, really gets one thinking. Thanks

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  107. I'd want to go back to the library of Alexander and steal as much as I could before it was burned down.

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  108. Super blog !
    Jette un coup d'oeil a mon blog, il est nouveau, besoin d'avis
    A bientot :)
    http://roki-blog.blogspot.fr/

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  109. Great question! There are so many different events that would be fascinating to be at, but I'd have to choose the day that Jesus was resurrected.

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  110. In a haze and listening to The Edge last night, I heard a quote from the "I have a dream," speech. The MC asked his audience to call in and guess who had recited those words. It was exponentially disappointing to hear the result of people saying "Um," and "I don't know."
    This generation is in desperate need of a serious history lesson.

    PS. Great blog. You're a fantastic writer yourself, my friend. Cheers and Happy Tuesday.

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  111. Great post! I'd definitely love to witness Jack Kerouac and Neal Cassady driving across America in the Hudson. I don't know if it counts as one event, but wouldn't it just be amazing to see?

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  112. I know I'm way behind the pack, but I finally thought of something. Creation. I'd like to see that, the creation of the world.

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