According to Teachers
“What would it be like to meet a certain person in history?” That’s a question most of us may have pondered at some point. Whether that be a statesman, warrior, an entertainer or a religious leader, the question is intriguing.
Short of time travel, we will never have this opportunity. But that doesn’t stop us from asking this question to our teachers.
ThinkFives polled hundreds of teachers asking which person in history would they most like to meet. As expected, these are towering figures in the history of the world.
Hot off a hit musical, Alexander Hamilton comes in at #5 on our list. Prior to Lin Manuel’s hottest ticket on Broadway, Alexander Hamilton was a fading founder in American history. But now everyone wants to be in “the room where it happened” and have a chance to sit down with Alexander.
As a founding father his contributions to our young country are well documented. He fought in the Revolutionary War, helped draft the constitution and served as the first secretary of the treasury. He, more than almost anyone, was the founder and chief architect of our American financial system.
What He Might Say
- “Those who stand for nothing fall for everything.”
- “Give all the power to the many, they will oppress the few. Give all the power to the few, they will oppress the many.”
- “All the genius I have lies in this; when I have a subject in hand, I study it profoundly.”
- “Who talks most about freedom and equality? Is it not those who hold the bill of rights in one hand and a whip for affrighted slaves in the other?”
- And for fun: “There are approximately 1,010,300 words in the English language, but I could never string enough words together to properly express how much I want to hit you with a chair.”
Coming in at #4 on our teacher’s list is another founding father and the person who is affectionately called the “Father of Our Nation,” George Washington. A military officer, statesman, founding father, commander-in-chief and first president, he would indeed make a great guest.
The topics to discuss are boundless – from his underdog military strategy to the leadership principles behind forming a nation from 13 separate entities. Or what it was like to have Thomas Jefferson as your Secretary of State, Alexander Hamilton as your Secretary of the Treasury and John Adams as your Vice President.
What He Might Say
- “If freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.”
- “My first wish is to see this plague of mankind, war, banished from the earth.”
- “A primary object should be the education of our youth in the science of government. In a republic, what species of knowledge can be equally important?”
- “It is better to offer no excuse than a bad one.”
- And for fun: “A sensible woman can never be happy with a fool.”
Martin Luther King Jr.
When the term “civil rights” is referenced, one person comes to mind for most people, Martin Luther King Jr. The champion of civil rights, Dr. King was an American Baptist minister who became the worldwide conscience for non-violent activism and equality.
Mr. King led the Montgomery bus boycott, the Albany movement, the protest in Birmingham, Alabama and the historic March on Washington in 1963. It was there that he delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.
The opportunity to meet Dr. King was listed on many of the surveys shared by our teachers. The admiration they have for Dr. King and his accomplishments was evident in their reasoning.
What He Might Say
- “Intelligence plus character, that is the goal of true education.”
- “Violence is immoral because it thrives on hatred rather than love.”
- “I know that love is ultimately the only answer to mankind‘s problems.”
- “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”
- For fun: (upon having a mechanical issue on a plane) “It’s not that I don’t have faith in God in the air, I’ve just had a lot more experience with him on the ground.”
For 2000 years, Jesus has been the central figure of Christianity, the world’s largest religion. His teachings are the basis of religions, writings, art and culture. Matthew, Mark, Luke and John shared the life and teachings of Jesus in the New Testament, providing the source of his legacy and influence.
Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount and many parables provide guidance everyday to billions of people world-wide. Among all the influences that shaped Western Civilization, there is no person more significant than Jesus. Even for religious skeptics, the historical importance of Jesus is the result of the most influential life ever lived.
What He Might Say
- “A new commandment I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you so you must love one another.”
- “Do unto others as you would have them do to you.”
- “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.”
- “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.”
The #1 historical figure who our teachers would like to meet is none other than Honest Abe, Abraham Lincoln. This towering president is admired for his determination in abolishing slavery and issuing the Emancipation Proclamation.
Born in a log cabin in Kentucky, and raised on the frontier primarily in Indiana, Abraham Lincoln became one of the most unlikely legends in American history. Self-educated and without the pedigree of most politicians, Lincoln rose from state legislator to congressman to President.
Who would be a better conversationalist than Abraham Lincoln?
- “Four score and seven years ago, our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.”
- “A house divided against itself cannot stand. I believe this government cannot endure permanently half slave and half free.”
- “Government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth.”
- “Be sure you put your feet in the right place, then stand firm.”
- For fun: “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.”
- Benjamin Franklin
- Eleanor Roosevelt
- Ronald Reagan
What historical figures would you want to meet most?