1066

Part 1: One of our great history teachers – was it Mr. Haffner? – said he wasn’t going to make us remember a lot dates, but there was one that we HAD to remember. It was 1066, and he told us why it such a critical date in the history of western culture.

Part 2: Forty years later I was driving back from a Washington DC pro-rainforest rally with some friends. As we got off the highway for a lunch stop, we were talking about big dates in history, and I mentioned the 1066 date, and someone in the van asked why it was so important.

We were at a red light, and, on a whim, I rolled down my window and asked the guy in the vehicle to our left, “What happened in 1066?” Without hesitation, and with a pronounced UK accent, he replied, “Battle of Hastings!”

That was a close as I have come the scene where Woody Allen pulls Marshall McCluhan from behind a plant to settle a question at the movie theater, in Annie Hall.

Thank you to Mr. Haffner, if that was you.

2 Responses

  1. Jon, I remember that too!!! Only it was Mr. Quigley how instilled that year in my head. Served me well too when it came up in a Jeopardy question.

  2. I remember Mr Quigley very fondly. Such a good person. He tried to reach out to me when I was a troubled teenager, but I just didn’t know how to talk about my unhappiness to anyone. Last time I saw him was in 1982, I think. My recollection is that he was leaving teaching and was becoming a minister.

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