New push for history education in Ho Chi Minh City

October 28, 2006

Many of us still remember it as Saigon.

In holding on to history, people need to start somewhere. To cure ignorance of Vietnamese history, Ho Chi Minh City officials are posting banners honoring women in Vietnam history, according to that story at Viet Q.

History poster in Ho Chi Minh City

Citizens view a poster relating the role of women in Vietnam history.

Would posting history in the street work in Dallas? In Houston? In Chicago, New York, Los Angeles or Boise?

Last summer, on the way to Scout summer camp, Troop 355 from Duncanville, Texas, stopped for a night in Memphis, Tennessee. After dinner (at Hard Rock Cafe, where we discovered the waitress had an Eagle Scout boyfriend and the waiter was an ex-Scout who still loves backpacking), I noticed there on Beale Street a chunk of history required for Texas students, in the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS): Across the street from Hard Rock Cafe was the historical marker for the site of Ida Tarbell’s newspaper reporting days. No, I couldn’t interest a single kid in walking across the street to read the marker, though Ida Tarbell tends to show up on tests with some regularity.

I wonder where the Ho Chi Minh City officials got the idea?

Hard Rock Cafe, Memphis

(The Ida Tarbell historic marker is just out of this picture, to the right)

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