What are the ties that bind together a country as far-reaching and diverse as ours?
We are not a people made from a single stock. Rather, we are a medley of colors, races, religions, and ethnicities.
You might think our language unites us, but in fact, we have no official language; we speak all the languages of the world. We all share a nation with many people who may look different from us, speak a native language different from ours, and pray in a way that may be foreign to us. What, then, holds us together in this vast and varied land of ours?
The one thing all Americans have in common is our history. It doesn’t matter if you’re a first-generation or twelfth-generation American. You own our history. That’s what makes you an American. That’s the glue that holds us together as a people.
Most of us learn some of that history in school. Then, like so many other facts that we acquired there, the chronicle of our national adventure fades into the background of our lives. Will and Ariel Durant said it best: “We Americans are the best informed people on earth as to the events of the last 24 hours. We are not the best informed as to the events of the past 60 centuries.”
I hope that these daily quizzes will make the history of America live for you and that you’ll think more about the people who have gone before us and worked so hard to bequeath us a united, spirited, and enchanting country. I hope that you’ll find even more precious our national gifts of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
Suggestion: Use some of these to spark conversation at the family dinner table. Talking about American history can bring it to life.