Writing a Story for Humanity: How I Try to Teach History

box of historical photos
How do you like to learn history?

In my last post, I discussed my thoughts on the trustworthiness of historical messages and my general ideas around the narrative of history, itself. Now, allow me to share with you ways in which I tell this story.

I have been a nerd (and a bit of an outcast) my whole life. In high school, I was a part of military youth groups, loved My Little Pony, and was obsessed with history. Though, I also remember taking an Advanced Placement (AP) U.S. History course that caused me so many tears and so much stress my last year of high school… I was not so obsessed with this…

Regardless, I loved and still love history. I constantly consume history documentaries, books, and articles. Recently, I finished a book on the foundation of New York City by the Dutch called The Island at the Center of the World by Russel Shorto. It is a great book. Highly recommend.

I am a part of a few online history communities, and even lead one myself. For over a year and a half, I have been telling history on my Facebook page Snapshot History. On this page I provide a daily glimpse at something that happened “today in history”. They are really short 1-2 sentence posts with a picture telling you some kind of major event.

It is really simple. Good storytelling doesn’t need to be complicated. And in the age of quick information exchange and social media, mastering short form storytelling is essential. The page is meant to inspire learning more than it is meant to completely teach. There is not much one can learn from a short blurb of “832 years ago today, Saladin captures Jerusalem after 88 years of Christian rule.” However, my true hope is that it will remind people how interesting our steps as people have truly been. I hope that I inspire someone’s next history Google search or Wikipedia binge.

Also, at the expense of my friends, I try to tell historical stories on my personal Facebook. People care what their friends are saying so when I personally post information on history, my hope is that it will reach more people in a powerful way. For example, In August I made an interesting post about Vietnamese history and the Vietnam War (which is a piece of history that I have a special interest in).

History is a fascinating story that deserves to be told. With this, I would appreciate if you joined me in this journey of historical storytelling and supported Snapshot History with a like and to engage on a few of its most recent posts. Let’s tell a great story.

Also, I would love to hear some of your favorite historical stories! I plan to write about a few of mine in the future on this blog.

Meet the Author : John Knetemann

John Knetemann smiling in a suit

From Denver, Colorado. Educated in Rapid City, South Dakota. Living in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

The most epic and daring content writer you will find on the east side of the Amstel... And sometimes the west side too. I am from the land of mountains, but now live in the land of very small hills and canals. Truly a native of the internet, I work with companies to build adventurous content, engaging social media identities, and addictively informative email campaigns.

I have turned comments off on my website, but talk with me on Twitter or LinkedIn.