← Back

April 11, 2018

#1979: History


[In a small panel top left, Cueball walks up to Megan who is sitting on an office chair holding a tablet showing a screen full of (to the reader) unreadable text.]

Megan: I read this article in an old newspaper, and I can’t stop thinking about it.

[Below is a large panel twice as wide as the first, and much longer. It contains the newspaper clip that Megan talks about. Three sections of the text is in normal black font, the rest is in gray font:]

The public events of the last three months are of the class which will go into its permanent history. We have been living in an atmosphere of history which will be immortally preserved. Even the brief series of important dates to be collated for the use of the schoolboys of centuries hence will contain the day of the assassination, and the day of the death of President Garfield.

The intermediate events co-related, like the defeat of Roscoe Conkling, will be of great interest, but will scarcely be likely to stand prominently out from the page of history written in 1881. To us who have been the witnesses, so to speak, of the tragic incidents of the times, it seems entirely probable that future generations will eagerly scan every feature of the recent bereavement which the nation has suffered.

How accurately will future generations know the immense volume of grief and sorrow which has rolled over the land? Will those who come after us ever be able to understand the extent of our loss? Is there anything in the first century of our history—even the death of the great Lincoln—which can be used as a parallel?

Perhaps a careful reading of the daily papers of the present. period may give some future antiquarian a fine idea of the feelings of the nation during the past summer. But these journals are so large, so full of detail, that we imagine the coming American will never find time to read the record. He must depend on a brief statement, meagerly compiled by some dry and tedious historian.

—The Bloomington Daily Pantagraph

   September 30,th 1881

[The third and final panel is the same size as the first, below and to the right. It contains a zoom in on Cueball and Megan talking.]

Cueball: Man. The past is so big.

Megan: How do historians even cope?

Cueball: I have no idea.

Megan: I honestly have enough trouble just with the present.