… or Three. Or Even Four.
By Jeff Salter
Our assignment this week concerns a historical figure we might like to meet… and which three questions we’d want to ask him or her. It’s possible we had a previous topic about important historical figures who’d made an impact upon us. But I can’t recall who I wrote about that week… and I got too busy this week to go hunting for it.
So, I decided to distribute my three questions among three different historical figures. That’s fair — right?
Realizing that Sir Winston was one of the very few influential voices which railed against the rise of Hitler and Nazism in the years leading up to WW2 – and that many of his political colleagues were actually in favor of appeasement (instead of fighting) – I think I’d ask: “How did you have the strength to stay the course when almost everybody insisted that you were wrong… and how on earth could you be so certain that England would ultimately prevail?”
Realizing that our third president was a statesman, scholar, inventor, architect, politician, author, philosopher, theologian, and amateur scientist – who recorded, documented, and studied just about anything that could be approached by an inquiring mind – I think I’d ask: “How on earth did you ever find time (much less the required energy) to keep track of all those activities… and did you have some medical problem (or psychological issue) that prevented you from just sitting still and chilling out?”
Realizing that the historical Shakespeare – who was certifiably an actor and a backstage worker in Elizabethan theater – was from a humble background that belies the type formal education one expects of an author of his magnitude, I think I’d ask: “Did you really write all those plays and sonnets… and if not, who did? And what do you think about the 400+ years of debate over this issue?”
Since it’s certainly possible I would not be able to get hold of one of my top three famous personalities in time for this column, I’d prepare a question for a fourth historical figure.
Leonardo da Vinci
Realizing that da Vinci was a painter, sculptor, inventor, designer, and amateur scientist – who studied things like fortifications, military weapons, royal pageants, anatomy, and even manned flight – I think I’d want to inquire: “Since sightings of UFOs did not become commonplace (and widely reported) until about the middle or late 1940s, how on earth did you know exactly what they looked like in the late 1400s… and why did you include one of them in your painting (Madonna and Child with the Infant St. John)?”
What about YOU? Which historical figure do YOU wish you could have met? And what would you have asked him or her?
Oh, I did search back through the 4F1H topics and found two weeks that are close to the notion of meeting historical figures. One was the following (though I had a Guest Fox that week to answer the question):
The other week dealt with famous celebrities we’d like to meet (or have met):
It’s certainly possible we had a week to discuss historical figures we wanted to encounter… but I could not locate it.
[JLS # 386]